Indian low cost carrier and domestic market leader IndiGo reaches a new milestone with the induction of its 200th aircraft.VT-IZI and VT-IZK are scheduled to start their flight to Delhi later today, in quick succession, to reach the milestone. The airline will now have 127 A320ceo, 61 A320neo and 12 ATR72-600 in its fleet.
This is in line with my tweet from September and unlike what many predicted about the A321neo delivery being the 200th aircraft.
IndiGo is the first airline in India to reach this milestone and comes at a time when it has been on a blitzkrieg. The airline recently converted 125 A320neo to the larger A321neo, in addition to the 25 A321neos it had already on order. Airbus allows flexibility in choosing the sub version of the A321neo and the airline with sufficient lead time could opt for the number of additional fuel tanks it would want on its A321neos to increase the range envelope. VT-IUA, the first of the A321s, made its first flight on 20th November.
The milestone also comes at a time when the airline has posted its first ever losses and heavy ones last quarter. The airline has gone through a series of changes – in the organization as well as in operations. The airline saw some top level exists including its Chief Commercial Officer – Sanjay Kumar, who joined bitter rival AirAsia India and President and Whole Time Director Aditya Ghosh, who was associated with IndiGo since inception. The airline has created new posts, added expats to management team and has appointed its promoter Rahul Bhatia as interim CEO, all in the hope of growth, expansion and profitability – which got a jolt at the beginning itself.
IndiGo was traditionally known to have a systematic induction plan, which went for a toss due to the delay in induction of the A320neo. (Read: IndiGo’s fleet planning – the missing 30) However, the spiraling problems with the Pratt & Whitney engines led to delivery slippage and IndiGo has been forced to look for older A320s in leasing market. This has resulted in aircraft as old as 12 year or more being part of the fleet.
Last November, the airline inducted its first ATR72-600 aircraft. The 74 seater aircraft was inducted simultaneously with the first of the 186 seater A320neo in its fleet. With the A321neo expected to be 234 seater, the airline will have a fleet of 180 seater A320ceo, 180 seater A320neo, 186 seater A320neo and 234 seater A321new which will be complemented by 74 seater ATR72-600.
The airline has vigorously explained to the market the benefits of single fleet type, easy swaps and simplicity at a time when everyone according to the airline was in a complex multi fleet type model.
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