IndiGo, the Indian low-cost carrier, has become the first airline in Asia to take delivery of the new Airbus A320neo aircraft.
The airline placed a huge order for 180 A320neos in 2011 and then added a further 250 aircraft in 2015. This makes IndiGo the aircraft’s largest customer, with combined orders for a total of 430 A320neos. The first of these was officially delivered on Friday.
“The A320neo aircraft will enable us to continue to offer affordable air transportation and a new flying experience for our customers. The fuel-efficient aircraft will be part of a new phase of our growth and will enable us to offer more regional and international destinations at the best price,” said Aditya Ghosh, president of IndiGo.
The A320neo, or “new engine option”, is the fuel-efficient successor to the popular single-aisle A320 series. There will be three versions of the aircraft, comprising the smaller A319neo, the standard A320neo and extended A321neo.
There will also be a long-range version of the A321neo. With new engines and aerodynamic improvements, including the ‘Sharklet’ wing-tip extensions, the A320neo is expected to consume less fuel, produce less noise and emissions, and offer lower operating costs than its predecessor.
A re-arranged cabin also means that then A320neo will be able to carry 189 passengers in an all-economy class layout, compared to 180 on the A320.
To date, Airbus has taken orders for more than 4,400 A320neos. Following IndiGo, other major customers include AirAsia (273 aircraft), Lion Air (183), American Airlines (130) and Wizz Air (110).
“It fills us with pride that IndiGo… has taken delivery of its first aircraft. On top of best in class operational efficiencies and environmental benefits, the A320neo will offer IndiGo’s passengers unmatched comfort,” said Dr Kiran Rao, executive vice president of strategy & marketing for Airbus.