Two Indian orders have kicked off the week, with the finalisation of Indian Airlines long-awaited agreement to take 43 Airbus A320s accompanied by a firming up of 15 further ATR 72-500 orders from independent Kingfisher Airlines.

State-owned Indian Airlines has been planning its A320-family aircraft order for years. Airbus has confirmed it has  “just received the green light” for the deal and that the carrier has “signed a contract” for the aircraft. The formal signing is expected today between the country's prime minister Manmohan Singh and French president Jacques Chirac.

Indian Airlines’ order has been repeatedly delayed but the carrier has gradually moved towards signing a formal purchase agreement. The carrier has been planning to acquire 20 Airbus A321s, 19 Airbus A319s and four A320s, all powered by CFM International CFM56 engines.

Indian Airlines A319 W445
© Airbus

Indian Airlines is to acquire 19 A319s as part of its 43-aircraft order

Indian Airlines said in December last year that it expected deliveries to begin in October this year and continue to March 2010.

Meanwhile, at the Asian Aerospace air show in Singapore, Kingfisher has increased its firm commitment on the ATR 72-500 to 35. ATR says that the fast-growing carrier’s conversion of the options is valued at $270 million. The aircraft are due for delivery from 2007.

Kingfisher initially ordered 20 ATR 72-500s and took 15 options in November to support its development of feeder services from secondary cities within India. The airline launched operations in May last year between major cities using Airbus A320-family aircraft. It also has Airbus A330, A350 and A380 widebodies on firm order for planned international services, in addition to many more A320-family narrowbodies.

The 20 ATR 72s ordered in November are due for delivery between March this year and August 2008. ATR says that in addition to firming up the 15 options Kingfisher has now taken another 20 options.

Source: Flight Daily News