Indigo, an India-based low-cost carrier, is negotiating an order with both CFM International of Pratt & Whitney for its next engine order, which could be worth up to $10.7 billion.

IndiGo is negotiating with both CFM International and Pratt & Whitney to purchase engines to power 150 new Airbus A320neo aircraft. CFM International developed the LEAP-1A, while Pratt & Whitney has the PW1100G to power the A320neo family. The deal to power the 150 aircraft could be worth up to $10.7 billion and would include servicing and maintenance of the engines, reported Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Indian low-cost carrier, which was the largest domestic airline in India in terms of its market share in 2019, was never shy of making record-breaking orders. Despite the current downturn and IndiGo’s own loss of INR40.3 billion ($544 million) in H1 2020, the airline had INR179.3 billion ($2.4 billion) of cash as of September 30, 2020, and is seemingly willing to spend that cash.

In October 2019, IndiGo ordered a record-breaking 300 Airbus A320neo family aircraft and took its total backlog of aircraft to 730 narrow-bodies from the European manufacturer.

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The biggest airline in India, IndiGo, is set to announce a record-breaking deal for 300 Airbus A320 aircraft. The order would come at an interesting and turbulent time for the carrier.
 

Since September 30, 2019, the airline has added 37 aircraft to its fleet: four ATR turboprops, 27 Airbus A320neos, and 18 A321 jets. At the same time, its A320ceo fleet was reduced by 12 aircraft, as IndiGo phased-out older aircraft.

Throughout 2019, the low-cost carrier ran into trouble with its PW1100G engines that powered the airline’s A320neos. So much so that in November 2019, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told IndiGo to take one A320neo out of service when it takes delivery of a new one. The problems were related to mid-flight engine shutdowns, as the carrier seemingly was particularly susceptible to the issue. The last engine shutdown that affected IndiGo flight occurred on January 23, 2020, when the airline’s A320neo was departing from Mumbai International Airport (BOM), according to avherald.com data.

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India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has reportedly told IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, to ground their older Airbus A320neo every time it takes a new one into the fleet. The problem is related to faulty Pratt & Whitney engines that power the airliner, as the authority wants them replaced by new, fixed ones. 
 

In late-November 2019, reports broke out that IndiGo’s take-off procedures, namely to run engines at full thrust during take-off rather than utilize an alt-climb approach, was at the helm of the problem. GoAir, another India-based low-cost carrier, was less affected by the issue, as it utilized the alt-climb mode, the DGCA’s findings showcased.

During the Paris Air Show in June 2019, IndiGo placed an order for CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power 280 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The Indian airline was an exclusive customer of Pratt & Whitney and only had CFM56-5B engines on 17 Airbus A320ceo aircraft at the time, making a very sizable commitment to mix up its engine fleet.

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Even when the world turns on its own head, navigating the new normal is crucial to ensure your survival. Taking care of your assets is also important to ensure that if any sudden changes happen in the market, one is ready to respond to those changes. However, maintaining aircraft engines can sometimes be overlooked, or even frowned upon, as the process requires quite the capital and time investment in order to do so. Yet there are options.