India's no-frill carriers have started thinking of buying smaller aircraft with IndiGo even evaluating launching a regional subsidiary. The move follows the government focusing more on improving regional connectivity, a leading aviation consultancy firm has said. IndiGo is also evaluating the possibility of placing an ATR (turboprop aircraft) order to establish a regional subsidiary, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in a latest report.
While all major no-frill carriers -- IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir -- have either Boeing or Airbus narrow-body aircraft fleet, all of them have started considering acquiring smaller aircraft like turboprop ATRs or Bombardier's Q400s.
The study said that SpiceJet remains undecided on whether to exercise its options for a further 15 Q400s, however CAPA expects that the carrier will increase its regional fleet in due course, the study said, adding that GoAir is also considering inducting turboprops to serve Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
While IndiGo now has around 30 Airbus A-320s from its 2005 order still to be delivered, it will start to take delivery of the first of its 150 A-320neos, as well as 30 A-320s from 2016-17. SpiceJet has 30 Boeing 737-800s on order with deliveries set to commence from next year, the CAPA report said, adding that a further narrow-body order may be finalised by early April after a new investor comes on board. The B-737 MAX was 'the most likely equipment' for SpiceJet, it further said.