Mumbai: The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has allowed IndiGo to import only five of the 16 aircraft it had sought to in 2013, as per a Live Mint report. Currently, IndiGo has 61 planes in its all Airbus fleet. The Gurgaon-based airline, promoted by InterGlobe Aviation Pvt. Ltd, has only got approval to import five planes this year, according to two MoCA officials.“We have asked them to give us a detailed plan as to where do they want to use these 11 planes,” said one of the officials. IndiGo added 19 aircraft to its fleet in 2012 and returned six after the leases expired. According to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, IndiGo was the third largest in the world in 2012 in terms of aircraft capacity addition among low-fare airlines.
A spokesperson for the airline declined to comment on the Ministry’s move and said that the airline hopes to end 2013 with a fleet of 71 planes. IndiGo still has 209 aircraft on order with Airbus spread out till 2025, which means it can bring in an average 17 aircraft every year—pending the MoCA’s approval.
“I can understand the Ministry’s reticence to permit large operators to bring large aircraft with 180 seats or more because it would like to control capacity; excess capacity will put pressure on fares and financial viability of operators as they will all end up selling below cost,” said Shakti Lumba, former Vice President with IndiGo and Air India.