India's IndiGo finalizes $26.5 billion purchase of 250 new Airbus jets

Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:40am EDT
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By Tommy Wilkes and Siva Govindasamy

NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - IndiGo, India's biggest airline by market share, has finalised the purchase of 250 Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) A320neo aircraft, handing the European company its largest-ever order by number of planes in a deal worth $26.55 billion at list prices.

The agreement confirms an earlier provisional order by IndiGo for the 250 narrow-body planes announced in October. Budget airline IndiGo has now ordered 530 A320 family planes in all from Airbus, the planemaker said in a statement on Monday.

The latest deal helps extend Airbus's lead against arch-rival Boeing (BA.N: Quote) in orders for the fast-growing upgraded narrow-body aircraft segment.

IndiGo would start taking delivery of the new Airbus planes from 2018 until 2026, the airline's president, Aditya Ghosh, told Reuters. As with previous orders, Indigo will perform sale and leaseback transactions on the majority of the aircraft bought from Airbus, he said.

The deal makes IndiGo the largest airline customer for the Airbus A320-family of aircraft. Other large A320 customers include low-cost carriers such as Malaysia's AirAsia (AIRA.KL: Quote) and Indonesia's Lion Air.

It is also the second-largest order by value for Airbus.

The A320neo is the re-engined and upgraded variant of the A320 family of planes and competes against Boeing's upgraded 737 Max in the narrow-body market segment.

Boeing has projected that narrow-body aircraft, which are used on flights of up to around five hours, will account for 70 percent of all planes required over the next 20 years.   Continued...

Passengers disembark from an IndiGo Airlines A320 aircraft at Bengaluru International Airport in Bangalore March 7, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash