IndiGo has placed an order worth $20 billion for aircraft engines from CFM International for the 280 Airbus A320neo and A321neo planes it operates. CFM is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between the US' General Electric and French engine maker Safran.
The move to switch from Airbus' fuel-efficient A320neo family aircraft comes after a series of issues with the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines fitted in them. A lot of planes of the budget carrier have been grounded due to trouble with the P&W engines. IndiGo is the largest customer of A320 family of narrow-body airliners produced by Airbus with an order book of 430 aircraft.
"IndiGo has been a CFM customer since 2016 and currently operates a fleet of 17 A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines as part of a total fleet of 215 A320/A321 family aircraft. Delivery of the first LEAP-1A-powered A320neo is scheduled in 2020," IndiGo said in a statement.
The deal between the IndiGo and CFM has come as a big jolt to the P&W powered turbofan engine programme. This is the only alternative to CFM's LEAP1-A for the A320neo family aircraft.
IndiGo has time and again been facing problems with P&W engines, manufactured by the US firm, since their induction in 2016. The safety concerns over these engines have increased recently due to a spurt in the number of reported snags on aircraft fitted with them.
With its fleet of 217 aircraft as of March 31, 2019, the airline offered 1,376 peak daily flights during the quarter and connected 52 domestic destinations and 16 international destinations.