ACQUISITION OF AIRCRAFT BY INDIAN CARRIERS
With the domestic passenger traffic crossing the ten crore-mark last year, the future for the Indian airline industry is undoubtedly bright. This has triggered rapid growth of the industry and Indian carriers are embarked on a programme for massive expansion which involves acquisition of airliners in large numbers. Of the more than 900 aircraft to be acquired in the next few years, the first lot of 50 will be inducted into service by various operators by March 2019. The Indian budget carrier and market leader IndiGo has the highest order at 348 aircraft that are to be inducted in the next eight years. With 147 planes currently in its fleet, IndiGo has ordered 399 Airbus A320 for expansion of both domestic and international operations as well as 49 ATR72-600 planes to cater to its expansion plans in Tier II and III cities. SpiceJet, which recovered after being in the woods financially, has ordered 157 aircraft that will be delivered by 2023. With 57 aircraft at present, it has ordered 107 Boeing 737-800 as well as 50 Bombardier Q400.
GoAir is another big buyer as it has ordered 119 Airbus A320 aircraft to add to its existing 30 planes, expected to be inducted by 2022. Jet Airways with 106 aircraft in its fleet, will add five Boeing 737-8 by March 2018 and 81 Boeing 737-8 (MAX) by 2024. Vistara, a JV of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, is expected to add five Airbus A320 this year to its existing fleet of 17. Low-cost AirAsia India will add another 60 Airbus A320 to its fleet of 13.