India’s premier airline, IndiGo, has shattered previous records with the announcement of an astounding 500-aircraft agreement with Airbus. This history-making deal, which surpasses Air India’s recent 470-aircraft agreement, signals a strategic move to cater to the rising number of fliers in India and its substantial expat community.

The monumental contract was inked on June 19 at the Paris Air Show. Present at the occasion were V Sumantran, Chairman of the Board of IndiGo, Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo, Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, and Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer. Airbus stated that this deal established a “record for the biggest single purchase agreement in the history of commercial aviation.”

The Significance of the Deal

Airbus further highlighted that the latest agreement brings the total number of Airbus aircraft ordered by IndiGo to 1,330, making it the world’s largest customer of the A320 Family. IndiGo declared this order not only as their largest but also as the most substantial single aircraft purchase by any airline with Airbus.

Comparison with Air India’s Order

This new agreement sets a higher bar than the 470-aircraft deal inked by Air India with Boeing earlier this year, following its acquisition by the Tata Group. That deal, worth $70 billion, was part of Air India’s plan to revamp its fleet and significantly expand its network and capacity.

IndiGo’s Current Fleet and Future Delivery

Operating over 1,800 flights per day with its fleet of more than 300 aircraft, IndiGo services 78 domestic and over 20 international destinations. The newly ordered aircraft are scheduled for delivery between 2030 and 2035, thereby promising a steady stream of additions to the IndiGo fleet, which currently stands at 480 including orders yet to be delivered.

Future Prospects and Concerns

While this deal marks a significant milestone for IndiGo, it also raises concerns about the potential over-ordering of aircraft by airlines in pursuit of the same clientele. Nevertheless, IndiGo’s order signifies its intention to maintain Airbus as its preferred supplier for single-aisle jets, a position reinforced by separate talks with Airbus and Boeing for 25 widebody planes. These talks, as reported by Reuters, are set to decide between Airbus A330neos or Boeing 787 jets.