IndiGo is soon going to place an order for 280 aircraft powered by LEAP1-A engines with CFM International. 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.
The budget carrier is likely to announce its deal with CFM during the Paris Air Show slated to be held from June 17 to 23, the Business Standard reported.
CFM is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between the US' General Electric and French engine maker Safran. The deal as per the listed price is valued at $8.12 billion.
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.
Meanwhile, Charles Soret, a CFM spokesperson, refused to comment on the development. However, he did say that the engine maker is trying to strengthen its position as a brand in the Indian subcontinent by attracting customers towards the LEAP engine.
"As of today, 57 LEAP-powered aircraft are operated by Indian airlines and several hundreds of LEAP engines will be delivered in the coming years to cover the needs of the Indian market," Soret told the news daily.
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.