INDIGO TO BUY 50 ATR AIRCRAFT FOR REGIONAL AVIATION
India’s largest low-cost carrier IndiGo has announced plans to buy 50 ATR turboprop aircraft for $1.3 billion to exploit opportunities in the regional aviation market. IndiGo, which has firmed up an order for 250 A-320neo aircraft in August 2015 that could fetch up to $25.7 billion for aircraft manufacturer Airbus, has a fleet of 133 Airbus planes, including 19 A-320neo. It expects to have 170 A-320 planes by March 2018.
IndiGo plans to launch its turboprop operation at the end of this year and expects to induct up to 20 ATR 72-600 aircraft by December next year, the airline said, “assuming” that the intended final purchase agreements are reached. If everything goes as per the plan, by March 2018, IndiGo would have seven such aircraft. IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh said, “In support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UDAN vision, we are embarking on a journey to build a nationwide regional network and connect cities that have not benefited from the growth in Indian aviation.” Meanwhile, IndiGo’s parent InterGlobe Aviation reported a nearly 25 per cent decline in profit at 440.31 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 2017, as higher expenses took a toll on its bottom line. The airline had a profit after tax of 583.78 crore in the same period, a year ago.