IndiGo’s strategically placed order for 500 Airbus A320 family single-aisle aircraft will ensure a steady flow over the next decade, said Indigo CEO Pieter Elbers.
This move, according to industry experts, is in line with the company’s aim to establish dominance in the aviation industry, and will also boost infrastructure development. The market response has been highly positive, with IndiGo’s stocks trading at a 52-week high of close to ₹2,500.
IndiGo operates a fleet of 312 aircraft at present, but Elbers, who addressed an online press conference on Monday, indicated that the airline aims to double in size by 2030, with a fleet of approximately 625 aircraft. The airline has placed a firm order for 500 aircraft from the A320 family, including A320neo, A321neo, and A321XLR models. Delivery is scheduled between 2030 and 2035.
Elbers emphasised that this order aligns with IndiGo’s track record of timely aircraft acquisitions. With 2030 on the horizon, the airline has sufficient time and flexibility to optimise the precise mixture of A320s, A321s, and possibly XLRs in its fleet. He added that the company has the flexibility to determine the magnitude and size of the fleet by 2035.
Considering their previous orders with Airbus, IndiGo is set to receive deliveries of 480 aircraft by 2030. However, some older aircraft from their active fleet will be retired by that time. Elbers explained that the rationale behind this massive order is to secure the airline’s future. By ensuring a steady flow of aircraft, despite the challenges faced by the industry such as supply chain disruptions and delays, IndiGo can now plan with a horizon of over 10 years.
IndiGo’s strategic move to place this substantial aircraft order not only positions it for future growth, but also demonstrates commitment to staying ahead in the fiercely competitive aviation industry.
“IndiGo’s order is much in line with its current aspiration of being a dominant player in the Indian skies. This could bolster the overall development of airport and aviation Infrastructure within the country. In any sector the follow through by the private sector for utilising capacity augurs well for further investments. In this case, this will be towards airport development in Tier 2 and Tiers 3 cities (by AAI) and by the private sector in the Metro cities,” said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Senior Director and Global Head at CRISIL.
Meanwhile, the airline’s stocks traded at an all time high and reached close to ₹2,500. Its intraday stock traded at ₹2,499, which is its 52 week high. At the time of closing, the airline’s stock closed at ₹2,439.
Morgan Stanley maintained a ‘buy’ remark. It stated that the airline’s “Market share and margin trends have been the two key drivers. Bulk aircraft orders, six-year operating leases, and young fuel-efficient fleet have led to low unit costs.”