GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) along with other ventures have agreed to a purchase/leaseback (PLB) arrangement for 14 Airbus narrowbody aircraft with Indian budget airline IndiGo. Consisting seven A320neos and seven A321neos, powered by LEAP engines, the aircraft are scheduled to be delivered between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the middle of 2022.
Considered India’s largest airline by passengers carried and fleet size, IndiGo currently has 176 A320s in service, with 12 parked, whilst its fleet on A321s add up to 40, with two aircraft currently grounded, according to Planespotters.net
IndiGo has been working with GECAS since the airline started operations in 2006. The announcement of the leaseback deal came after the airline said it was sourcing four A321ceo aircraft for freighter conversion, citing previous success with its cargo business. The budget airline expects to take delivery of its first converted freighter in the first half of 2022 and will used the aircraft for both domestic and regional flights.
“CarGo has been a success story over the last year, scaling new heights and creating new records, but our belief in the cargo business goes beyond the special circumstances right now,” said Ronojoy Dutta, chief executive and wholetime director of IndiGo.
The purchase leaseback deal with the Indian carrier follows a US$2.24 billion deal with Air China in mid-March. GECAS subsidiary AFS Investments Inc took order of 18 new narrowbody planes, including five A320-200N airplanes and 13 A321-200NX, to be delivered to the Chinese flag carrier starting 2022.
Earlier in March, GE agreed to sell GECAS to rival AerCap for US$30 billion, with the merger considered to create the world’s biggest lessor with a combined fleet of over 2,000 aircraft.