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IndiGo Inks Its First Widebody Order With Airbus

The largest airline in India is going long-haul.

Airbus’ A350-900 variant (Photo: Airbus)

Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has placed a landmark order for 30 Airbus A350-900s with another 70 options. This is the first time the carrier has placed a widebody order and comes after placing the biggest airplane order in history of 500 A320 series aircraft from Airbus last year. 

Deliveries will start in 2027, joining IndiGo’s mostly Airbus A320 family fleet. The new A350s will enable the airline to expand its international footprint significantly with the aircraft’s range, allowing the airline to fly nonstop to destinations in North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. 

IndiGo A321neo landing

An IndiGo Airbus A321neo at Delhi Airport (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Vihaan Kushwaha)

IndiGo, the biggest airline in India by passenger numbers and market share, has not operated any widebody airplanes by itself. It wet leases two 777-300ERs from Turkish Airlines on routes from Delhi and Mumbai to Istanbul, which the two airlines jointly operate. The primary focus of the carrier has been on the domestic market, which it has a 60% market share, and regional markets to the Gulf and Southeast Asia, 

Capitalizing on the Growth in Indian Aviation

Indian aviation has seen significant growth in the past years and is projected to continue to do so. At the same time, much of the international traffic is captured by foreign connecting airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways, or Singapore Airlines. Much of it can be attributed to the lack of capacity and ability of Indian carriers. 

However, changes are taking place with both Air India, under its new Tata ownership, and IndiGo, under the leadership of Dutchman Pieter Elbers who used to lead KLM, are quickly growing their capacities both in short-haul and long-haul fleets. Air India placed a large order for A350s and 787s last year, and its first A350s have already been delivered.

IndiGo A350

IndiGo is led by Pieter Elber, middle, the former CEO of KLM (Photo: IndiGo)

With the new aircraft, Indian carriers are expected to take up a greater share of the market and provide more choices for inbound and outbound travelers. Areas which IndiGo could use its new A350s include destinations in Europe, specifically the U.K., the United States, and Canada. These are regions where diaspora and student traffic is strong and demand comes largely from price-sensitive travelers, allowing IndiGo to compete with its low-cost model. 

Another Win for Airbus 

Airbus has secured yet another major order for its popular A350 family. According to the Times of India, the Boeing 787 was considered by IndiGo but issues surrounding the company and the jet swung the company towards Airbus. IndiGo will be the second operator of the A350 in India, after Air India, which has 20 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s on order. The carrier will also become one of the two widebody operators in India after the merger of Vistara into Air India

This comes after a series of high-profile orders for the A350 from Asian carriers, namely from JAL for 21 units, Korean Air for 33, EVA Air for 18, and several more orders from other regions, including one from Delta for 20 A350-1000s.

Anthony Bang An

Author

  • Anthony Bang An

    Anthony is an airline enthusiast who also loves traveling. He grew up around the world from St. Louis to Singapore and now lives in Amsterdam. He loves long-haul flying and finds peace in the sound of engine cruising. Fresh out of high school, he aspires to be working in the aviation industry and share his passion for the sky. 

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