Over the last few years, InterGlobe Aviation Limited, well-known as IndiGo, has acquired several top spots in terms of passenger volume, flight frequency, and capacity. Before the pandemic, the low-cost airline operated 1500 flights per day to an extensive network of 96 destinations, using a fleet of more than 200 aircraft. Despite the pandemic’s woes, IndiGo continues to be a key player in India’s aviation industry, offering an unparalleled network to connect the nation to the world and adding new aircraft to fill the gap in passenger demand.
Evolving from a single-plane carrier in 2005 to over 270 aircraft in 2022, IndiGo has come a long way. It currently has the largest share of Airbus jets in India, with an outstanding order of 203 A320neos and 225 A321neos.
Fleet of IndiGo
As of 2022, IndiGo is the biggest aircraft operator in India, comprising a fleet of 277 aircraft, including 37 A320-200s, 145 A320neos, 59A321neos, and 35 ATR72-600s. IndiGo Airlines pursued a uniform fleet strategy in the last decade and a half, and now its fleet has evolved beyond Airbus jets to welcome ATR 72-600s as a part of the expansion into regional flights connecting smaller population centers.
Airbus A320-200 is a 180-seater passenger aircraft powered by two CFM56-5s or IAE V2500s, offering increased fuel capacity for an increased range. IndiGo first placed an order for 100 A320-200s in 2005 to expand its fleet and shake up the Indian market with its ultra-low fares. Since 2020, the airline has accelerated the retirement of its remaining A320-200s to become an all-3320neo family carrier by this year. The low-cost giant is set to retire all its A320ceos by mid-2022 to push towards a more efficient, all-neo narrowbody fleet.
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IndiGo is the largest A320neo family aircraft operator (A320neo and A321neo), comprising a total of 204 such aircraft in its fleet and more than 400neos in the order book. The budget carrier made the first order for 150 A320neos with Airbus in 2012. A320neo is a narrowbody airliner re-engined with CFM LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines, offering 15-20% more fuel efficiency than the A320ceo family. It has a 180-186 passenger seating capacity in a 303 all-economy layout. A320neos, replacing old classic A320ceos, make up the bulk of IndiGo’s fleet and offer high carrier cost and fuel efficiency while reducing maintenance tasks. To offset the losses of A320-200s, two or more A320neos join IndiGo’s fleet every month. So, its overall fleet size remains virtually unchanged despite the influx of new A320neos.
Airbus A321 neo for the move
IndiGo has upped the figure of A321neo deliveries from 10 to 59 in the last two years to create the most efficient fleet. The A321neo incorporates the new-generation engines and Sharklets, allowing the airline to improve its industry-leading sustainability profile. The modern fleet of A321neo has a substantially reduced carbon footprint relative to predecessors and provides more than 25% fuel and CO2 savings and 50% noise reduction. As the effect of the pandemic recedes, IndiGo reaffirms its commitment to consistent growth with the massive A321neo orders.
IndiGo’s A31neos have 221-232 seats and operate a host of medium-haul flights to Asian destinations. With the carrier’s announcement to embark on its paused international expansion, it has resumed the regular operations of several international flights. IndiGo is reducing the density of its packed A321neos on 7-hour international flights to offer more comfortable seats, extra legroom, and meal options for flying customers.
ATR 72-600 aircraft
India’s largest carrier IndiGo has 35 ATR 72-600s to provide air connectivity to small regions of India that have not yet benefitted from air travel and build a strong regional air network. ATR is an iconic regional aircraft that complements IndiGo’s commitment to offering reliable air operation at regional levels, with 10% lower seat costs and 20% lower trip costs than similar turboprops.
Plans for the future
IndiGo is looking forward to operating the narrowbody long-haul A321XLR jets in Europe or East Asia in the coming two years. The single-aisle A321XLR extends the range to 8700 kilometers, which is the highest of any narrowbody and accommodates as many as 244 passengers in a high-density arrangement.
About IndiGo Airlines
IndiGo Airlines is India’s booming airline that has cemented a legacy for low-cost travel. Headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, the airline concentrates its traffic flow from 7 different Indian airports and transports more than 2 million passengers every month. With the influx of new aircraft and destination expansion, the carrier shows no signs of slowing and will comfortably hold the top position until a new airline overtakes it.