IndiGo placed an order for 180 Airbus A320neo aircraft with Airbus back in 2011. They followed it up with another order of 250 A320neos in 2014. IndiGo took an option to convert a part of the order to Airbus A321neo. Initially, they converted 25 Airbus A320neos to A321neos. Later on in 2018, IndiGo converted 125 more A320neos to 125 A321neos taking the total A321neos on order to 150.
IndiGo had signed a deal with Pratt and Whitney in 2011 to power the first batch of 150 A320neo family aircraft. The A320neos are powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engines and the A321neos are powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1133G engines.
But we all know the induction of A320neo powered by PW1100G engines didn’t go as smoothly as planned. There were frequent engine troubles, a lot of engines had to be replaced and some design changes were also incorporated.
IndiGo which is the largest A320neo operator had to replace 69 engines between mid-2016 and early 2018. PW1100G engines are delivering the fuel efficiency that Pratt & Whitney promised and design changes are also increasing its operational reliability.
For the next batch of 280 aircraft, IndiGo has switched to CFM Leap 1A as the powerplant. CFM is a joint venture between General Electric (GE) and Safran. IndiGo placed a massive USD 20 billion (INR 1,39,590 crores) order with CFM at the Paris Airshow 2019 for Leap 1A engines to power 280 A320neo and A321neo aircraft. This is the world’s largest order for engines to date. The contract also includes spare engines and overhaul support agreement.
The first A320neo powered by CFM Leap 1A engines will be delivered to IndiGo in 2020. IndiGo has been a CFM customer since 2016 and currently operates a fleet of 17 A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines while the rest of the A320ceos are powered by IAE V2500 engines. IAE is a joint venture between Pratt and Whitney, MTU Aero Engines and Japanese Aero Engine Corporation.
With this order, CFM further increases its lead to supply engines for A320neo family over Pratt and Whitney. IndiGo will be CFM’s third Indian customer for Leap 1A engines after Air India and Vistara. GoAir which also operates and has on order PW1100G powered A320neo has kept a part of the future order undecided for the choice of engines.