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Paris Air Show: IndiGo Makes History by Ordering 500 Airbus A320 Family Jets

The fast-growing Indian low-cost carrier has formalized the largest-ever commercial aviation order with Airbus during the first day of the Paris Air Show

by Matteo Legnani

June 19, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

The Paris Air Show witnessed a momentous announcement as Indian low-cost carrier, IndiGo solidified rumors with a groundbreaking order for up to 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. The deal could be valued at $55 billion according to current list prices.

The deal, proclaimed the largest single purchase agreement in commercial aviation history, was unveiled at Le Bourget airport in the French capital.

Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

Top executives, including the airline’s CEO Pieter Elbers and Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer, signed the historic agreement. Elbers expressed the significance of the order, stating, “It is difficult to overstate the significance of IndiGo’s new historic order for 500 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. An order book now of almost 1000 aircraft well into the next decade enables IndiGo to fulfill its mission to continue to boost economic growth, social cohesion, and mobility in India.” When questioned about potential widebody orders, Elbers focused on the current achievement.

Christian Scherer of Airbus hailed the order as a milestone, emphasizing the democratization of affordable air travel for millions in the world’s fastest-growing aviation market. He further highlighted the A320 Family’s superior operating economics that has fueled IndiGo’s remarkable growth for nearly two decades.

This momentous purchase propels IndiGo’s total Airbus aircraft orders to 1,330 planes, establishing the carrier as the world’s largest customer for the A320 Family. The order surpasses the previous record set in February by the Tata Group for Air India by an additional 30 aircraft for a grand total of 470 planes.

Headquartered in Delhi, IndiGo has emerged as India’s largest airline and one of the fastest-growing carriers globally. Since its inception in 2006, the airline has steadily expanded its fleet, operating 264 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, including A320neo, A321neo, A320ceo, and A321 freighters.

Excluding the recent order, IndiGo awaits delivery of nearly 500 Airbus aircraft from previous orders placed in 2011, 2014, and 2019, totaling 830 aircraft.

Photo: IndiGo also placed an order for the Airbus A321XLR at the Paris Air Show 2019. Courtesy of Airbus.

In May, IndiGo achieved a record domestic market share of 61.4%, as reported by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. While international operations account for approximately 10% of overall traffic, IndiGo plans to expand its global presence to encompass around 30% of its operations.

IndiGo made headlines earlier this year when it wet-leased a Boeing 777-300ER from Turkish Airlines. Although the carrier currently relies on single-aisle aircraft, it aims to strengthen its international footprint using the Airbus A321LRs and XLRs included in the recent record-breaking order.

Over the next few years, IndiGo is set to receive 69 extra-long-range A321 aircraft, with the first expected to enter service by the end of next year.