Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo has signed a term sheet for 50 ATR 72-600 turboprops in a deal valued at more than $1.3bn at list prices. The manufacturer says the carrier retains the flexibility to reduce the number of aircraft based on “certain conditions”.
Deliveries are scheduled to enable operations to begin before the end of the year as the airline looks to develop its regional footprint. The Indian Government has launched a regional connectivity scheme called UDAN, with the intention of boosting economic development, employment and tourism in small and remote cities.
Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo, said: “In support of our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s UDAN vision, we are embarking on a journey to build a nationwide regional network and connect cities that have not benefitted from the growth in Indian aviation. The ATR’s low operating costs will help us build a large regional air travel network with reasonable fares. These aircraft will feature modern cabin interiors, thus making the flight a comfortable experience for our passengers. The ATR’s outstanding operational versatility, along with their capabilities to land in remote airports with limited infrastructure will help us manage our operations efficiently.”
India’s domestic market recorded close to 100 million passengers last year and has been growing at more than 20% annually. Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, 100 new airports will be created within the next two to three years, and airlines will receive financial support and other incentives to make air travel affordable.
Christian Scherer, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “IndiGo is one of the most respected, efficient and demanding airlines in the world. Today they have selected the ATR 72-600 as the best solution to effectively implement their ambitious plans to build a nationwide regional network. Their decision further proves that our aircraft is the right tool to link communities and develop business throughout India.”
IndiGo currently operates an all-Airbus A320 fleet, consisting of 113 A320ceos and 20 A320neos.