IndiGo first Indian carrier to induct fuel-efficient A320neo
The country's largest airline by market share IndiGo is all set to take delivery of its maiden new engine technology aircraft A320neo, becoming the first domestic carrier to have such a plane in its fleet.
The airline received the plane in the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France at 1212 GMT, according to a person in the know. The registration is VT ITC and the aircraft is expected to land in India on Friday morning.
The airline will receive the next plane next week. It has signed sale and leaseback agreements for the more than 30 of the ordered planes.
The first one will be financed by California-based Aviation Capital Group, the person said. He added without elaborating that the airline has got into agreements with several lessors.
A sale and leaseback agreement is a financial pact under which upon delivery of an aircraft to an airline, it is immediately sold at a premium to a lessor and leased back for monthly rentals.
Airbus has said that beginning March 2016, it will deliver 24 A320neo aircraft by March of 2017. The original plan was for Airbus to deliver 26 A320neos.
ET had on February 14 reported IndiGo would start getting its planes before April.
IndiGo's investors have been worrying about a delay in deliveries in the aircraft due to a glitch in the Pratt & Whitney engines. Airbus had warned of the delay first in December, around the time IndiGo was scheduled to get its first Neo plane.
IndiGo's share price fell over 25% on the Sensex in the last three months. On Thursday it closed at Rs 805.50 a piece down a tad from previous day's close.
IndiGo has also entered into leases for 7 more used A320 aircraft which will be inducted between March and November of 2016.
Overall, on a year-over-year basis, the airline expects to grow its fleet by 13 aircraft in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, followed by year-over-year increases of 11 aircraft in the first quarter, 21 aircraft in the second quarter, 27 aircraft in the third quarter and 24 aircraft in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017.
For fiscal 2017, total fleet strength is expected to increase by about 22.4% on a year-over-year basis, the airline said.