India's IndiGo shops for 300 Airbus planes

AFP . New Delhi | Update:

In this file photograph taken on 24 June 2010, an IndiGo Airbus A320 aircraft prepares for final approach at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Airbus announced on 29 October 2019, that India`s IndiGo have ordered 300 A320neo aircraft. Photo: AFPIndian airline IndiGo has placed an order for 300 A320neo family aircraft from Airbus, making it one of its largest-ever orders from a single firm, worth over $33.2 billion (29.9 billion euros) at catalogue prices.

Here are some key facts on the low-cost air carrier:

Largest airline 
Founded in 2006, Indigo is the largest low-cost private airline in the country, with around 47 per cent domestic market share.

Headquartered in Gurgaon city, near New Delhi, the airline carried 46 million passengers in 2017.

It operates nearly 1,400 flights a day to more than 80 domestic and international destinations.

Rapid expansion 
The company started with a small fleet of aircrafts in 2006 before racing to become the largest carrier in a short time.

It had placed orders for 530 Airbus planes between 2005 and 2015, and the latest order will take the total numbers of planes to 730.

In 2010, the budget airline overtook state-owned Air India as the third-largest carrier.

It had placed an order for 100 Airbus A320-200 aircraft in 2005, followed by 180 Airbus A320 aircrafts, in a deal worth $15 billion in 2011 followed by largest deal of 250 Airbus A320neo aircraft for $27 billion in 2015.

Falling revenue 
But high operating costs, including rising fuel prices and a decline in the Indian rupee's value against the dollar, have hit the industry hard.

IndiGo registered a loss of 10.7 billion rupees ($150 million, 135.9 million euros) in the last quarter ending September, four billion rupees more than in the previous year.

IndiGo chief executive officer Ronojoy Dutta on Tuesday sought "support" of its employees to deal with the growing losses, hours after signing a deal with Airbus.

"We will be dealing with the weakening revenue environment with a sharper focus on cost for which we seek your support," Dutta said in a statement.

The airline is competing with several other carriers in the low-cost segment, with India's aviation industry registering tremendous growth in recent years.

India recorded an increase of 18 per cent in the numbers of flyers in 2018, with nearly 140 million people flying domestically.

But a slowdown in the economy has forced customers to cut back on costs, putting sudden breaks on the industry growth that is pegged to remain in single digits.

Earlier this year, India's top airlines Jet Airways was grounded after suffering financial losses.

It is currently undergoing insolvency proceedings and its founder is being investigated for suspected fraud.

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