IndiGo to wet-lease aircraft for winter season

IndiGo is likely to consider wet-lease option to raise its passenger capacity for the upcoming season, a report in the Business Standard said. This will be the first wet-lease for the company which has been dry-leasing planes since 2015.

Wet-leasing could increase operational costs, but the airline also fears losing market share due to slowdown in delivery of its new aircraft.

The airline is already in discussion with Lithuanian airline SmallPlanet, Air Berlin and Alitalia to wet-lease at least seven A320 planes, the report said. The agreement will only for the winter season and end in March 2018.

Wet-leasing is an arrangement where airlines hire an aircraft including flight crew, maintenance and sometimes fuel and proves to be a costlier option.

The airline will have to pay a fixed amount to wet-lease planes every month and the lessor will take care of maintenance and operations.

The airline has also reduced its capacity guidance to 20 percent from 25 percent for the year due to delay in airplanes.

On average, IndiGo inducts two to three A320 planes every month. The carrier recently had to ground eight planes due to technical issues.

A technical glitch in the Pratt and Whitney engines has disrupted he production of A320 neo planes, affecting IndiGo’s fleet expansion.

The airline could look at GE engines for its 280 A320 neo planes if issues with Pratt and Whitney engines continue, IndiGo’s president Aditya Ghosh said.

In the airline’s annual general meeting, Ghosh said that IndiGo could add 20 turbo prop aircraft by January 2019. In May, IndiGo announced plans to buy 50 ATR turbo-prop planes worth USD 1.3 billion as part of efforts to tap the regional aviation market.

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