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Airlines on aggressive buying spree

DH News Service, New Delhi, Feb 11 2018, 18:42 IST
 The airlines are on a feverish shopping mode as the domestic passenger outlook is looking rosy, as it already crossed the 10 crore-mark last year. Representational Image

The airlines are on a feverish shopping mode as the domestic passenger outlook is looking rosy, as it already crossed the 10 crore-mark last year. Representational Image

Domestic airlines will buy 920 planes in the next few years in huge expansion plans worth billions of rupees, as Indian aviation sector is witnessing a growth in the number of fliers.

Of this, around 50 aircraft will be inducted into service by various operators by March 2019. The airlines are on a feverish shopping mode as the domestic passenger outlook is looking rosy, as it already crossed the 10 crore-mark last year.

The market leader IndiGo has the highest order at 348 aircraft and it is expected to induct these planes in the next seven to eight years.

With 147 planes in its fleet, IndiGo has ordered 399 Airbus 320 as well as 49 ATR72-600 planes to cater to its expansion plans in Tier II and III cities.

For IndiGo, the order for Airbus 320 will help it in its expansion of international operation as also augmenting and consolidating its numero uno position in domestic operations.

SpiceJet, which recovered after being in the woods financially a couple of years ago, too have an order for 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 320 aircraft to add to its existing 30 planes. The Wadia Group-owned airline expects to induct these aircraft by 2022.

The full-service Jet Airways with 106 aircraft in its fleet will add five Boeing 737-8 by this March while another 81 Boeing 737-8 (MAX) between 2018 and 2024.

While full-service Vistara, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, is expected to add five Airbus 320 this year to its existing fleet of 17, low-cost AirAsia India will add another 60 Airbus 320 to its fleet of 13.

The airlines' aggressive expansion plans come at a time the Economic Survey had acknowledged the "considerable progress" in the aviation sector, with India registering a faster growth rate than the United States and China when it comes to the number of domestic fliers.

The government is also responding to the fast pace developments in the sector with the Budget unveiling an ambitious 'Nabh Nirman' (Developing Skies) programme to expand airport capacity by more than five times to handle a billion trips a year.

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