New Delhi: With an eye on expanding its international presence, IndiGo, country's largest domestic airline, will add eight Airbus A321neo aircraft on lease from Ireland-based CDB Aviation by January next year. The airline on Thursday took delivery of one A321neo from the leasing company, thus taking its A321neo fleet to seven aircraft. CDB Aviation is wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co Ltd.
The A321neo planes typically have a longer range and can carry slightly more passengers than the A320 planes operated by the airline and is used by airlines around the world to operate on medium-haul international routes as well on domestic routes. The A321neo LR (Long Range) aircraft can also be used to fly on certain long-haul routes but with layover for re-fueling.
"We are delighted to add another A321neo in our fleet as we continue to expand our domestic and international operations," IndiGo's chief executive officer Ronojoy Dutta added in a statement.
IndiGo's A321neo aircraft is a narrow body airplane, equipped with the Pratt & Whitney PW1133G turbofan engines, and is configured with a 222-seat layout.
Mint had in March 2019 reported that IndiGo was preparing to take delivery of 25 A321neo aircraft during the next 12 months as part of its plans to fly to more overseas destinations, including Myanmar, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and China. The airline has, since then, started operations at all of these destinations and is looking to add more international destinations to its operations.
"We are looking at a number of new destinations, both international and domestic," IndiGo's chief commercial officer William Boulter told Mint in an interview September.
Since the airline has no firm orders for wide body planes, it is expected to deploy A321 planes on medium-haul international destinations.
"For us, wide-body aircraft is an aspiration, but they are not a firm plan at the moment. It is something we are reviewing," Boulter had added.
IndiGo has been aggressively expanding its international operations during the past year or so. The airline, which started its operations to Turkey earlier this year, also got into a code share agreement with Turkish Airlines, giving it passenger-access to destinations beyond Istanbul.
The airline had during October started new flights to Hanoi (Vietnam), Guangzhou (China), and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). It also plans to fly to major European markets like London by early next year.
The Gurgaon-headquartered airline currently has 245 aircraft in its fleet. This includes 128 A320ceo, 89 A320neo, 7 A321neo, and 21 ATR planes.