The engines have been selected to power the airline’s fleet of 310 new Airbus A320neo, A321neo, and A321XLR aircraft
India’s major low-cost airline, IndiGo recently announced an agreement with aircraft engine manufacturer CFM International for 620 new installed engines and associated spare engines. IndiGo has selected LEAP-1A engines to power its fleet of 310 new Airbus A320neo, A321neo, and A321XLR aircraft. In addition to this a long-term, multi-year service agreement is in place.
IndiGo has been a CFM customer since 2016. The LEAP-1A engines were chosen by the Indian carrier in 2019 when a longterm service agreement was signed for engines to power 280 A320neo family aircraft. The contract, included spare engines and an overhaul support agreement, is valued at more than $20 billion US at list price. This new announcement furthers agreements for a total of 590 IndiGo A320neo family aircraft to be delivered from 2023 onwards. At present, the airline is operating seven A320neo and 15 A321neo with LEAP-1A engines. India is the single biggest market for the A320neo family, with about 900 aircraft ordered between two of the biggest budget carriers, IndiGo and GoAir.
“This is a pivotal milestone that reiterates our unflinching commitment to strengthen our network not just in India, but internationally, as well, over the next decade. India’s aviation sector is poised to grow strength to strength, and we will continue to build a world class transportation network. We are here to serve more customers, and moreover, deliver on our promise of providing low fares and a courteous, hassle free experience to them,” said Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGo who believes this will in turn strengthen economic growth and mobility.
“This is a pivotal milestone that reiterates our unflinching commitment to strengthen our network not just in India, but internationally, as well, over the next decade. India’s aviation sector is poised to grow strength to strength, and we will continue to build a world class transportation network.”
—Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo
“We are incredibly honored by IndiGo’s renewed trust in CFM. We are fully committed to helping IndiGo optimise its operations by providing them with the industry-leading asset utilisation, fuel efficiency, and overall cost of ownership.”
—Gaël Méheust, President and CEO, CFM International
IndiGo claims to be amongst the fastest growing low-cost carriers in the world, operating around 1,200 daily flights and connecting 66 domestic destinations and 24 international destinations. Even amid the pandemic, the airline has managed to fair well. It has also been adding new regional destinations to the list lately. Besides that, building on the Cargo business in recent years, the budget carrier has also initiated a freighter programme and is in the process of sourcing four A321ceo aircraft each of which will be converted from passenger jets to a full freighter configuration. A Letter of Intent has been signed with a lessor for two aircraft. Airplane manufacturer Airbus estimates that India, which currently has 99 operational airports, is set to reach 200 airports by 2040. Meanwhile, air cargo is projected to quadruple to 17 million tonnes in the same timescale.
However, the past year has not been so kind for anyone in the aviation industry. IndiGo had also announced a consolidated year-on-year net loss of 1,147 crore in the fourth quarter of FY 2020-21, which ended on March 31, 2021. As per a regulatory filing by the airline, besides this, the airline’s revenue from operations went down 25 per cent to 6,222 crore in the March quarter as against 8,299 crore in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.
The LEAP-1A engines agreement though feels like an optimistic move in strengthening the airline’s plan ahead. “We are pleased to extend our partnership with CFM for our next batch of Airbus A320neo, A321neo and A321 XLR aircraft,” said Riyaz Peermohamed, Chief Aircraft Acquisition and Financing Officer of IndiGo. He added that the introduction of the CFM LEAP engines in our fleet will allow us to maintain our strong focus on lowering operating costs and delivering fuel efficiency with high standards of reliability.
“We are incredibly honored by IndiGo’s renewed trust in CFM. We are fully committed to helping IndiGo optimise its operations by providing them with the industry-leading asset utilisation, fuel efficiency, and overall cost of ownership”, said Gaël Méheust, President and CEO of CFM International.
The LEAP engine is among the most renowned, having logged more than 10 million engine flight hours in less than five years of commercial service. Continuously setting new industry standards for asset utilisation, while reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15 per cent, it maintains the highest reliability rates in this thrust class. The engine is a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. This engine has experienced the fastest order ramp up in commercial aviation history and CFM has delivered approximately 2,800 installed LEAP engines.
The LEAP fleet surpassed 10 million engine flight hours and five million flight cycles in less than five years of commercial service. Since the first LEAP-powered flight entered commercial service in August 2016, the engine program has grown exponentially with nearly 1,400 LEAP-powered aircraft have been delivered to some 136 operators on five continents by the end of this year’s first quarter, CFM informed.
CFM believes the LEAP engine to be the culmination of cutting-edge technology and unparalleled performance mainly due to the following highlights: