MIAMI — Budget carrier GoAir took delivery is of its first Airbus A320neo, becoming the world’s third operator of the type, and the second in India after budget carrier IndiGo.
In a statement, Airbus said the A320neo, powered by Pratt and Whitney PW1000G engines, is the first of 72 on order and joins GoAir’s existing fleet of 19 A320s. The jetliner is financed on a sale and leaseback through SMBC Aviation Capital.
In a sale and leaseback arrangement (common in the airline business), airlines sell their planes to a lender in a process that helps them generate revenue, and then lease the same planes for a fee.
This A320neo (VT-WGA • MSN 7047) is the first equipped with the Space-Flex cabin configuration with 186 seats. This option redesigns the rear section of the passenger cabin, by rearranging the galley and bathrooms and install up to three additional seats.
The arrival of the aircraft also enables GoAir to fly on international routes. According to the existing legislation in India, a local carrier must have a minimum of five years of domestic operations and a fleet of at least 20 aircraft before operating international flights.
The A320neo shares a 95% commonality with its predecessor, the A320ceo. So far, seven aircraft have been delivered (two to Lufthansa, four to IndiGo and one to GoAir), which in sum have logged about 2,200 revenue flight hours since the Entry Into Service early this year.
To date, Airbus has received over 4,500 orders from 82 operators since the launch of the program in 2010. According to the company, the A320neo family aircraft currently holds some 60 percent share of the single aisle market in the range of 140 – 240 seats. Plans are to ramp up the production to 60 aircraft a month before the end of a decade, in a move supported by record numbers in firm orders amid a strong global demand for the type.