‘IndiGo’s widebody aircraft order is good for Indian aviation,’ BA

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109640139IndiGo enters the widebody space with order for 30 Airbus A350-900 aircraft

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IndiGo enters the widebody space with an order for 30 Airbus A350-900 aircraft

Budget carrier IndiGo’s decision to acquire widebody aircraft is a good sign for the Indian aviation industry as long-haul international routes are relatively more profitable and will also help create an aviation hub in the country, ratings agency CRISIL said. Until January last year, IndiGo operated a single-aisle Airbus aircraft fleet and in February 2023, it started operating wide-body Boeing 777 leased from its codeshare partner Turkish Airlines. Currently, the airline has two leased B777 flights to Istanbul from Delhi and Mumbai. On Thursday, the country’s largest airline announced it has placed an order for 30 Airbus A350-900 widebody aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines, and also has the option to purchase an additional 70 such aircraft .

“The development (IndiGo’s A350 aircraft order) augurs well for the industry as these (international long-haul) routes are relatively more profitable and open up opportunities for innovative combinations as Indian airlines also have good domestic connectivity,” said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Senior Director & Global Head, Transport, Mobility and Logistics – Consulting at CRISIL Market Intelligence and Analytics, said on Friday.

Among Indian airlines, only Air India and Vistara currently have widebody aircraft in their fleets. IndiGo and SpiceJet have leased a number of widebody aircraft.

Padmanabhan said Indian airlines’ share of international traffic originating and terminating in India has grown steadily in recent years to about 43 percent. Air India and IndiGo have therefore made this a strategic growth area, he added.

“IndiGo’s latest order for long-haul flights should be seen in that context. It had become imperative for the airline to diversify its fleet – especially of widebody aircraft – to maintain its competitive advantage on long-haul routes and attract customers both leisure and business travellers,” said Padmanabhan.

According to him, the order will also help India strengthen its case for creating an aviation hub at one of the major airports. IndiGo expects to take delivery of the A350-900 aircraft from 2027.

  • Published on Apr 27, 2024 at 12:00 PM IST

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