IndiGo gets delivery of two A321neos, first deliveries into India after aviation opens

IndiGo, a few days ago, in their presentation where they declared their annual results for FY20, had committed to taking more aircraft from Airbus in the April to September period, as the airline will continue to add more A320neo family aircraft to their fleet and exit the old A320ceo family aircraft.

This was a shot in the arm for Airbus, which has been facing some resistance from various airlines who are now working on postponing their aircraft deliveries in the coming months. Understandably, the CoVid-19 pandemic has caused massive upheaval in the plans of airlines, and in various cases left airlines with hardly any cash to survive the pandemic, forget bringing in any new aircraft in their fleet. At the same time, air travel sentiment is expected to renew over years and not days.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in an interview last week with Politico,

some airlines wouldn’t answer the phone at the height the of crisis.

Right down to some of their biggest customers such as Emirates, who has been rumoured to cut deliveries of their remaining A380s, Airbus and its peers at Boeing have a tough task ahead as they push out aeroplanes which were built based on commitments signed with airlines. Airlines pay a small amount when they sign the deal, and most of the money is sent to the airframe maker once they deliver the aircraft. But airlines are also on the hook when they postpone or refuse to take aircraft which they have committed to.

Politico also wrote,

Asked about how the pandemic has affected Airbus’ relationship with its customers, Faury said, “This is the moment where you see what the relationship means.”

He said that while he empathized with airlines’ plight, “they have commitments with us and we have taken commitments [to our suppliers] because of the contracts we have with them.”

In the light of this, IndiGo picked up two of their ready A321neos from the Hamburg factory of Airbus. Many people have been wondering how was this made possible since no flights are going out of India. One of these aircraft was already signed for in March 2020, and the other one signed for now. Airbus introduced a new digital delivery process recently, so the transfer of title would have been smooth.

a plane flying in the sky

Picture courtesy Sandy Pilania (

Both the aircraft, VT-IUI and VT-IUV were flown to Delhi from XFW on the evening of June 9 and got into Delhi airport on June 10, 2020.

In terms of flying the aircraft to Delhi, it is unsure about who flew it to Delhi, but most likely it would be a third party crew or Airbus organising these flights to Delhi (with the ability to fly back to base on Air France, perhaps?). After all, before the Indian lockdown, IndiGo used to take about one delivery from Airbus every week, so not possible to have their people fly back and forth doing delivery of planes every week.


In this case, Airbus did get a solid vote of confidence from IndiGo, which is one of it’s most prominent customers globally for the narrowbody aircraft. I’m sure there will be negotiations at the back-end and IndiGo will also change their delivery plans for some aircraft. Still, it would be made easier by the fact that IndiGo has only the newer generation A320/1 neo aircraft on order and many airlines around the world still clamour for these aircraft, so delivery or few here or there would be lapped up in no time.

Which airlines from India do you think will postpone their aircraft deliveries?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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