An Indian low-fare airline has contracted Airbus for 180 of its A320 short- and medium-range narrow-body jets, including 150 of a new fuel-efficient variant. IndiGo and Airbus have a memo of understanding for 30 A320s and 150 A320neo’s, in what is reported to be the largest order for large jets by a single carrier in the history of commercial aviation.
The value of the contract is unconfirmed but it’s reported to be $15 billion.
“This order for industry-leading, fuel-efficient aircraft will allow IndiGo to continue to offer low fares,” stated Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, founders of IndiGo, a privately held carrier serving 25 cities in India. “Ordering more A320s was the natural choice to meet India’s growing flying needs. The opportunity to reduce costs and to further improve our environmental performance through the A320neo were key to our decision.”
Airbus A320 jets are among the most widely used aircraft in commercial aviation with about 4,500 in operation with over 310 customers, and according to Airbus it is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft.
The A320neo will be introduced in 2016 as a fuel-efficient variant of the A320, with a larger payload and a range of 500 miles. It will have much the same airframe as the current series but a more efficient engine (yet to be announced) and wing design that will help the A320neo to achieve fuel savings of up to 15 percent. Estimates also call for it to have significantly less CO2 and NOx emissions, and reduced engine noise.
“The A320 Family is the recognized market leader. The A320neo, offering maximum benefit for minimum change, will ensure that this continues to be the case for many years to come,” stated Airbus COO John Leahy. “This order positions IndiGo to take full advantage of the predicted growth in Indian air travel and we are delighted that they continue to build their future with Airbus.”