Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) with Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 6799 to be registered as VT-ITC will take off from Toulouse, France for its delivery flight to New Delh in a short while from now.
This will be the first Airbus A320neo which market leader IndiGo will induct in its fleet. While earlier deliveries were routed via Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, the neo will make a non stop flight to Delhi.
This marks the start of the delivery of the 430 aircraft which the airline has on order. Go Air is the other airline which has 72 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order. While Air India and Vistara would also receive the neo in due course of time.
IndiGo, the second operator of this type worldwide will take delivery of this latest fuel efficient aircraft on Friday, 11th March 2016 at New Delhi. This will be the airlines 103rd aircraft in fleet.
The airline had seen its stock plummet below its listing price after informing the bourses about delay in delivery of fuel efficient Airbus A320NEO aircraft. On 29th February, the airline informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it would receive 24 aircraft between March 2016 and March 2017, two short of what was initially promised by the manufacturer. Irrespective of this addition, the airline will go ahead and induct 07 older aircraft on lease from various lessors. The airline inducted VT-IDQ (MSN 2108), a 12 year old aircraft earlier this month.
The first of Airbus A320neo was to be delivered in the last quarter of 2015, was plagued by engine issues. The Geared Turbo Fan (GTF) engine – Pratt & Whitney PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ PW1100G-JM is expected to reduce the fuel burn by over 15%. The delay in delivery was caused by teething issues with the engine, with reports indicating that the engine needed an idle time of 3 minutes after start-up before the aircraft would move on its own power. Qatar Airways & IndiGo had refused to take delivery till the hardware and related software problems were resolved, if reports are to be believed.
Eventually, Lufthansa then became the launch customer taking delivery of MSN 6801 which is registered D-AINA. Lufthansa has been operating the aircraft to Munich, Berlin & Hamburg from its Frankfurt hub.
It is unclear as to when IndiGo would start commercial utilization of the aircraft. The aircraft is also widely believed to have 186 seats, 3 less than what Airbus is now offering as its Space Flex concept where the galley is redesigned to accommodate higher seats. However, keep watching this space for more. The aircraft could well be configured in 180 seats.
The A320NEO have seen exceptional sales and currently has a backlog of 3344 A320neo, 1642 A321neo and 50 A319neo.