Thursday, November 23, 2017

IndiGo mulls buying 50 wide-body planes as Air India divestment process remains slow

India's largest airline by passenger share, IndiGo is actively considering inducting at least 50 wide-body aircraft for long-haul flights, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The low-cost carrier could induct its own wide-bodied planes as Air India's divestment process could take a while. IndiGo had earlier shown interest in buying Air India's international operations.

"Right now, it's an optimistic 50-50, but the processes are slow. The airline will wait for four-five months and then implement Plan B of inducting its own fleet of wide-bodied planes," a person familiar with the development told the newspaper.The airline currently has a fleet of 143 Airbus A320 and A320 (single aisle) planes. It has also ordered 380 A320neo, 25 A321neo and has received the first of its 50 ATR 72-300 planes.

While the ATR 72-300s are expected to be deployed on smaller routes as part of the regional connectivity scheme flights, the low-cost carrier would require larger twin-aisle planes to fly long-haul flights.

According to the ET report, the order for wide-body planes would be over and above the existing orders. There are two options - the 250-plus-seater Airbus A330-800neo or the 270-seater A350-800. However, the A350 would not be delivered before 2021.

In July, IndiGo had expressed interest in taking over Air India's international operations.
23/11/17 Moneycontrol