MIAMI — IndiGo became today the world’s second Airbus A320neo operator after German carrier Lufthansa. The delivery comes after a delay which according to Airbus was due to “industrial reasons.”
The Indian low-cost carrier, established in 2006, is an all-Airbus operator with 102 Airbus A320ceo in service, and it happens to be the A320neo’s biggest customer with 430 aircraft from two orders placed in 2011 for 180 aircraft, and in 2015 for 250 additional airliners.According to Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo, the Airbus A320neo “will be part of a new phase of our growth and will enable us to offer more regional and international destinations at the best price.”
India ranks among the fastest growing air travel markets in the world. IATA estimates that the market will average an annual growth of 6.4% during the next two decades, and by 2034 it is expected to hit the 256 million passenger/year mark. Despite the current infrastructure constraints, the size and potential of the market has drawn a myriad of new players, including IndiGo.
“It fills us with pride that IndiGo, India’s largest airline and the biggest customer for our A320neo, has taken delivery of its first aircraft. On top of best in class operational efficiencies and environmental benefits, the A320neo will offer IndiGo’s passengers unmatched comfort,” said Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus EVP Strategy and Marketing.
To date, Airbus has received over 4,500 orders from nearly 80 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.