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IndiGo inks pact with Airbus for world’s biggest ever order for buying planes

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India’s largest airline IndiGo has signed an agreement with Airbus to buy 500 aircraft in the biggest ever order placed by an airline worldwide.

The multibillion-dollar order surpasses the Air India deal for purchasing 470 planes that was inked earlier this year and reflects the rapid expansion in the demand for air travel in India that airlines are racing to meet.

Indian carriers now have the second-largest order book, with an over 6% share of the industry backlog, behind only the United States, according to a June 1 report by Barclays.

“This is just the beginning, there’s more going forward. With the growth of India and the growth of the Indian aviation market … this is the right time for us to place this order,” IndiGo Chief Executive Pieter Elbers said at a news conference at the Paris airshow on Monday.

“This will provide IndiGo a further steady stream of deliveries between 2030 and 2035. This 500 aircraft order is not only IndiGo’s largest order but also the largest-ever single aircraft purchase by any airline with Airbus,” a statement from IndiGo said.

The order for 500 A320 aircraft sets the “record for the biggest single purchase agreement in the history of commercial aviation,” Airbus said in a statement.

The latest agreement takes the total number of Airbus aircraft on order by IndiGo to 1,330, establishing its position as the world’s biggest A320 Family customer,” Airbus said in a statement.

With its fleet of over 300 aircraft, IndiGo is currently operating over 1.800 flights a day and connects 78 domestic destinations and over 20 international destinations. It also has orders that are yet to be delivered, taking up the current strength of its fleet to 480.

IndiGo, which accounts for nearly 60% of the Indian domestic market, is keeping Airbus as its supplier of single-aisle jets. IndiGo also continues to hold separate talks with Airbus and rival Boeing for 25 widebody planes, which could either be Airbus A330neos or Boeing 787 jets, according to a Reuters report.

However, IndiGo CEO Elbers declined to comment on any further plane orders.