Delivery of Airbus A320neo aircraft to be delayed, says IndiGo

IndiGo, India's largest airline by market share, has said deliveries of Airbus A320neo aircraft will be delayed. It has ordered 430 such planes and was expecting the first to be delivered on December 30.

In a stock exchange notification, IndiGo said it received an update from Airbus that delivery of the first aircraft will be delayed due to “industrial reasons”.  

“At this time, IndiGo does not have a clear visibility of its future A320neo delivery schedule and the potential for additional delays exist. We are looking at mitigating the potential shortfall in capacity through other options,” the airline said in its exchange notification.

IndiGo has 98 Airbus A320 aircraft at present and plans to add 23 planes in the next financial year. The airline may be forced to dry lease aircraft on a short term basis. Last year, IndiGo took 12 A320s on lease from Indonesia's Tigerair Mandala to ramp up capacity.

IndiGo did not specify the “industrial reasons”.  Earlier this month, a report in aviation magazine Air Transport World  said an unresolved issue connected with the aircraft's geared turbofan engine was the reason for the delay and the last-minute swap in launch customer for the aircraft. The engine is made by Pratt & Whitney and promises 15 percent lesser fuel burn.

Qatar Airways was supposed to be the launch customer for A320neo and according to the report the airline has refused to take deliveries until operational restrictions placed on the engine are lifted. IndiGo was to take delivery after Qatar Airways.

Now, Lufthansa will be the launch customer for Airbus A320neo followed by Qatar Airways and IndiGo, the report added. IndiGo has declined to comment on the report.

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