IndiGo orders 180 airplanes; sets a record in commercial aviation history

MUMBAI, January 12 (Agencies): Low-cost carrier IndiGo has placed firm orders for 180 Airbus 320 aircraft at an estimated cost of $ 15.6 billion. The order is the single largest for jets, in terms of volume, to be ever placed in the commercial aviation history. It is not the first time that IndiGo has placed a brow-raising order though. The Gurgaon-based private carrier created ripples in the 2005 Paris airshow with an announcement to buy 100 A320s. Currently, the airline flies 34 A320s to 25 domestic destinations and plans to go international by August this year.
The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 180 eco-efficient Airbus A320 aircraft of which 150 will be A320 NEO, said an Airbus spokesperson adding that the order was the largest in history. The A320 New Engine Option or NEO runs more efficient engines will be available from 2016 onwards. The aircraft has specially designed wing tips -- called Sharklets by Airbus -- that will reduce the aerodynamic drag which develops at the wingtips of a moving aircraft in the form of vortices. Sharklets will lad to fuel savings of up to 15 percent, which is up to 3,600 tonnes of CO2 annually per aircraft, says Airbus. The Neo will also provide a double-digit reduction in nitrogen oxides and will have a reduced engine noise.
“This order for industry leading fuel efficient aircraft will allow IndiGo to continue to offer low fares,” said Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, co-founders of IndiGo. “Ordering more A320s was the natural choice to meet India’s growing flying needs. The opportunity to reduce costs and to further improve our environmental performance through the A320neo were key to our decision.” John Leahy, Airbus, Chief Operating Officer Customers said: “The A320 NEO, offering maximum benefit for minimum change, will ensure that this continues to be the case for many years to come. This order positions IndiGo to take full advantage of the predicted growth in Indian air travel.”