New Delhi: InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which owns IndiGo, said on Tuesday it has signed a 10-year engine maintenance contract for its ATR planes with Pratt & Whitney Canada, underscoring the ambitions of India’s largest airline to expand its operations in regional routes.

IndiGo has chosen PW127M engines that will power the airline’s new fleet of ATR72-600 aircraft flying on regional routes in India. The 10-year contract will be applicable from the date of each engine’s entry into service and can be extended thereafter, the engine maker said in a statement.

“This FMP (fleet management programme) will provide IndiGo with hands-on support as the engines progressively enter into service on the airline’s new ATR72-600 fleet," said Frédéric Lefebvre, vice-president, regional airlines, Pratt & Whitney Canada .

“IndiGo also chose to equip each of its new aircraft with our FAST™ (Flight, Acquisition, Storage and Transmission) prognostics solution—including the newly certified propeller vibration trend monitoring capability. FAST is helping regional airlines around the world maximize aircraft availability, achieve compliance with their maintenance requirements and optimize their maintenance scheduling," said Lefebvre.

Pratt & Whitney Canada is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

The maintenance plan will provide customized support to meet the airline’s technical and commercial needs.

“IndiGo is a key operator for P&WC in India and the Asia Pacific market in general," said Lefebvre.

“This FMP agreement allows us to take a larger profile in India’s growing aviation industry," he added.

IndiGo announced this month that it will begin ATR operations with flights between cities on its existing network—Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Madurai and Nagpur—and two new tier-II cities, Tirupati and Rajahmundry. The first ATR flight will commence from Hyderabad on 21 December 2017. 

IndiGo is also introducing new ATR flights on its existing network, which includes the Chennai-Mangalore-Chennai, Hyderabad-Mangalore-Hyderabad and Hyderabad-Nagpur-Hyderabad routes. 

The airline, which has bought 50 of these planes, is also expected to bid for regional Udan scheme and fly these smaller planes on such routes.

Udan—or Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik, which loosely translates to “let the common man fly"—is a regional aviation scheme of the central government that encourages airlines to fly to underserved airports at low fares.

The airlines have to sell a certain number of seats (between nine and 40 currently) on such flights at a maximum rate of Rs2,500 per hour of flying. In return, they receive a subsidy from the government.