IndiGo, India’s top airline with an operational fleet of 302 aircraft and an order book of nearly 500 jets, has ample capacity to fuel its growth as well as take on intensifying competition, according to its top executive. “IndiGo is in a very good spot,” Pieter Elbers, chief executive officer of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. said in an interview at the CAPA India Aviation Summit in New Delhi.
“We have plenty of deliveries and a steady flow of deliveries till the end of the decade, which enables us to continue growing.” Elbers didn’t disclose if IndiGo, with a 56% local market share, is negotiating a new aircraft order with Airbus SE or Boeing.
Competition is heating up in India’s already-crowded skies where as many as 11 carriers, budget as well as full service, vie for fliers. Many are now also bulking up on capacity. Indigo’s largest rival, Tata Group’s Air India Ltd. ordered 470 jets last month — the world’s largest civil aviation deal. Even the upstart Akasa Air, which started flying last year, is planning to induct 72 aircraft over five years.
Like carriers globally, IndiGo is grappling with supply chain issues that have led to grounding of its aircraft. CAPA estimates some 100 jets or 15% of India’s fleet is grounded due to supply chain issues. IndiGo has 30 aircraft on ground, according to CAPA. IndiGo is evaluating wet leasing aircraft and extending lease agreements to tackle the problem, Elbers said. A wet lease refers to the industry practice of renting a plane along with operating crew and engineers.