India low-cost carrier IndiGo plans to induct four Airbus A321P2Fs as it seeks to beef up its cargo fleet.
The airline has signed a letter of intent with an unnamed lessor for the first pair of converted freighters, it says. An agreement for the second pair of A321P2Fs will “shortly” be concluded.
The aircraft, it adds, will be converted through a programme that involves ST Engineering, Airbus, and their EFW joint venture.
The first aircraft will be delivered in the first half of 2022, and will operate both domestic and regional services. The three follow-on aircraft will arrive within a year of the first delivery.
Further aircraft beyond the original four may also be sourced. IndiGo operates its cargo business under the “CarGo” branding.
“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,” says IndiGo chief executive Ronojoy Dutta.
“IndiGo was already the largest carrier of cargo in domestic India before Covid-19, and we expect the market to continue to grow after the pandemic. Our investment in the Airbus Freighter Programme will help strengthen our product and services in the segment, and not only help accelerate our own business recovery but also be a strong engine of economic growth for the country.”
Cirium fleets data shows that IndiGo has 248 in-service aircraft, compromising 223 A320 family aircraft and 25 ATRs. In addition, it has 36 A320s in storage, all A320ceos. The airline has orders for 595 aircraft, comprising 570 A320neo family jets and 25 ATR 72-600s.