Tuesday, November 26, 2019

IndiGo’s fleet structure is undergoing a dramatic change

IndiGo, India’s largest airline by fleet and market share, created ripples even before launch. Its announcement of 100 aircraft was unheard of for Indian aviation in 2006. Not only did the airline take delivery of all of those, but it also took them on schedule, again a rarity in Indian aviation.

In 2011, the airline placed an order for 180 A320 aircraft comprising 30 A320ceo and 150 A320neo. By 2014, when the airline received the 100th aircraft from its initial order, it had already placed another order for 250 A320neo aircraft. Having converted the 30 A320ceo to A320neo, the airline was hoping to get delivery of its aircraft to replace the older A320ceo and have a rapid induction in fleet.

However, that was not the case to be. Airbus was struggling to meet deadlines and the A320neo eventually entered service with IndiGo in 2016. The impeccable fleet planning strategy was dented – for no fault of the airline. Inducting a new aircraft, returning them to lessor after 6 years of service to avoid expenditure on expensive maintenance checks later and keeping the fleet young was the core philosophy for the airline.

The delay from Airbus in delivering the A320neo and issues with the Pratt & Whitney engines since the deliveries started has led to the airline look for ways to fill the capacity void. This included extending lease of existing aircraft and leasing aircraft from market. This meant the airline has a fleet of multiple engine types putting some strain on the maintenance and costs and aircraft older than 6 years are still with the airline.
25/11/19 Ameya Joshi/CNBC TV18

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