India's largest carrier with a market share of more than 60 per cent, IndiGo has been facing headwinds similar to the now grounded Go First. It has been unable to keep a portion of its fleet in Indian skies since Pratt & Whitney hasn't delivered new engines for its Airbus aircraft.
To boost its operations in the face of these hurdles, IndiGo airlines has placed an order for 500 A320 Family aircraft from Airbus at the Paris Air Show, in what is being described as the largest deal in aviation history. The IndiGo order comprises a mix of A320NEO, A321NEO and A321XLR aircraft.
"The engine selection for this order will be done in due course and so will be the exact mix of A320 and A321 aircraft," IndiGo said in a statement.
The planes will be delivered to IndiGo between 2030 and 2035.
The deal was struck with European manufacturer Airbus at an estimated $50 billion by India's largest carrier.
The multibillion-dollar order is the largest ever by number of aircraft, eclipsing Air India's provisional purchase of 470 jets earlier this year as India's two largest carriers brace for sharp expansion in regional travel demand.
"This is just the beginning, there's more going forward. With the growth of India (and) the growth of the Indian aviation market ... this is the right time for us to place this order," IndiGo's Chief Executive Pieter Elbers told a news conference.
IndiGo to get 1,330 Airbus aircraft in total
With this latest deal, IndiGo now has a whopping 1,330 Airbus aircraft on order.
"The latest agreement takes the total number of Airbus aircraft on order by IndiGo to 1,330, establishing its position as the world's biggest A320 Family customer, added the statement from Airbus.
"It is difficult to overstate the significance of IndiGo's new historic order for 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
"An order book now of almost 1000 aircraft well into the next decade, enables IndiGo to fulfil its mission to continue to boost economic growth, social cohesion and mobility in India," Airbus quoted IndiGo chief Pieter Elbers as saying.
Although the deal is larger than Air India's 470 aircraft order from Airbus and Boeing combined, Air India has the option to receive an additional 370 aircraft.