Indian airline IndiGo places an order for 50 turboprop planes worth $1.3 billion at prices that list subcontinent’s biggest carrier expands into regional flights.
IndiGo has signed to acquire the ATR 72-600 aircraft, with the first planes to enter operation by the end of this year, a Gurgaon-based company, near New Delhi.
Previously IndiGo had held off from committing to Indian PM Narendra Modi’s so-called regional connectivity program, which aims to provide air links to under-served cities in a country with fewer than 100 runways. Rival Spice Jet Ltd. already uses Bombardier Inc. Q400 turboprops to tap regional demand.
“We are embarking on a journey to build a nationwide regional network and connect cities that have not benefited from the growth in Indian aviation,” Indigo President Aditya Ghosh said in a statement. The ATRs have low enough operating costs to be able to offer “reasonable fares,” he said, while the order terms allow for deliveries to be reduced under certain conditions.
IndiGo revealed the details of purchase after posting net income of 4.4 billion rupees ($68 million) for the fourth quarter through March 31.
The airline’s stock fell as much as 3.4 percent in Mumbai Wednesday, it was the biggest intraday loss since April 21. It traded at 1,115.85 rupees.