ANALYSIS: Indian carriers receive more aircraft in H1 2013

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Indian carriers took delivery of more aircraft in the first six months of this year compared with the previous corresponding period, with a higher proportion of jet aircraft.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database shows that in the six months to 30 June 2013, Indian carriers took delivery of 22 aircraft, compared with 19 for the same period in 2012.

india deliveries h1 2013

india deliveries h1 2012

Interestingly, this year's deliveries were mostly jet aircraft, with only one turboprop delivered - an ATR 72-600 for JetKonnect. In comparison, there were five Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s delivered to SpiceJet in 2012.

During the six months, full-service carriers Jet Airways and Air India took delivery of a combined seven aircraft. In comparison, all of the deliveries went to low-cost carriers in the six-month period a year ago.

Significantly, the deliveries this year have included three widebodies - two Boeing 787-8s for Air India and one Airbus A330-300 for Jet Airways. There were no widebody deliveries at the same time in 2012.

Air India's 787s are a key part of the airline's plans to return to profitability, as they allow the carrier to better align capacity with demand on some of its European services. The new aircraft also reduce operating costs. They are also going to be used for the launch of services to Sydney, Melbourne and Birmingham later this year.

In the case of Jet, its A330-300s are replacing the smaller A330-200s on European services, with the -200s being leased out to other operators. Airbus sources have told Flightglobal Pro previously that the airline is attracted to the lower seat-kilometre costs of the larger aircraft.

Jet received no aircraft during the first half of 2012, but resumed taking Boeing 737-800s in the first six months of 2013. As of late August, the carrier still has orders for 39 more 737s, and options on a further 20, although those may be converted to the 737 Max.

IndiGo has continued to account for the majority of new jet deliveries with eight delivered over the first half of this year, down from 10 in 2012. The budget carrier still has a number of deliveries ahead, with 27 A320s and a whopping 150 A320neos on order. It is also has orders for 20 A321s.

SpiceJet took only four 737-800s over the period, down from the five Q400s and two 737-800s delivered during the same period last year. The Chennai-based low-cost carrier has now taken delivery of all the Q400s it has on order, but Ascend data shows that it still has 15 options that it could exercise for delivery from later this year out to 2016.

LCC GoAir, which is owned by Wadia Group, recorded relatively stable fleet growth, taking delivery of two aircraft in each of the periods under review. It now has a fleet of 16 A320s and has been in talks with potential foreign investors to take a strategic stake in India's smallest budget carrier.