Air India, IndiGo get new Airbus A320 aircraft

Hyderabad, March 3 (IANS) French aircraft maker Airbus Industrie Wednesday delivered one Airbus A320 aircraft each to national carrier Air India and low-cost private airline IndiGo here during the India Aviation 2010.

This is the 74th delivery of the 111 aircraft ordered by Air India for its domestic and international operations. The airline has ordered 43 Airbus aircraft, 20 A321, 19 A319 and four A320. Of these the carrier has now got 19 A321, 19 A319 and one A320 Airbus aircraft.

‘The remaining A320 and A321 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by April,’ an airline official said.

After being accorded a ceremonial landing, the A320 was received by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah. Airbus Executive vice-president Kiran Rao handed over the title of the aircraft to Air India chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav.

The airline has ordered 68 Boeing aircraft of which 35 — eight B777-200LR, nine B777-300ER, and 18 B737-200 (for low cost airline Air India Express) — have been delivered.

Presently, Air India covers 51 international destinations across the US, Europe, Canada, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Gulf.

On the domestic network, it reaches 62 destinations, including the remote Ladakh, the northeast and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Airbus also delivered an Airbus A320 to IndiGo. This becomes the 25th aircraft of the 100 aircraft the airline had ordered.

‘We expect to get nine more aircraft by the year end and six to eight next year. This will take our fleet strength to over 40 by the end of 2011,’ IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh told IANS.

He said the airline was not facing a cash crunch and that all the aircraft would be inducted as and when these were delivered by Airbus.

‘We are not short of funds. We are not looking at IPO (Initial Public Offering) either,’ Ghosh said.

The 140-seater A320 aircraft has a twin-class configuration – 20 seats in executive class and 120 seats in economy class.

It is fitted with advanced weather radar system, enhanced ground proximity warning system and the LCD cockpit display system. The aircraft is also equipped with the state-of-the-art digital cabin management system.

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