Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has come to a sale-and-leaseback agreement with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) for 14 LEAP-powered Airbus A320neo-family aircraft.
Under the agreement, seven A320neo and seven A321neo aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the middle of 2022.
Currently India’s largest airline (by both passengers carried and fleet size), GECAS has supported the fleet needs of IndiGo since it commenced operations in 2006.
“GECAS remains proud to support IndiGo’s exciting growth over the past 15 years, and adding these 14 neos is a true honour,” explains Aashish Sonawala, SVP and Asia-Pacific regional manager of GECAS.
“While putting our own capital to work, GECAS’ strategic platforms are providing additional capacity to meet the needs of our global customer relationships,” shares John Bordeaux, GECAS chief investment officer, adding, “We’re very pleased to lend our extensive expertise and network to identify the best opportunities for our investment partners.”
Separately, IndiGo has also initiated a new freighter program that will see it welcome four A321neo passenger-to-freighter (P2F) converted aircraft.
The airline said it had signed a letter of intent with a lessor for two of the four aircraft already, and expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A321neo P2F in the first half of 2022.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that IndiGo has not only taken the top spot in India, but also emerged as one of the world’s largest airlines by capacity, thanks to a near-total recovery in the Indian domestic travel market.
According to data firm OAG, in January, the Indian carrier took out the spot as the seventh-largest in the world by capacity, and the largest outside the US and Chinese markets.
IndiGo reportedly took an additional 44 planes from Airbus in 2020, the most of any customer, ahead of Delta Air Lines and China Southern, as the carrier replaced its older planes with newer, more fuel-efficient models.
The airline still has around 580 planes on order with Airbus that have yet to be delivered, and expects to take delivery of its outstanding planes at a rate of around 50 planes per year.
Additional reporting by Airlinerwatch.