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  • Writer's pictureAvaitors Maldives

IndiGo To Lease Boeing 737s From Qatar Airways

Indigo, India’s largest airline, is exploring the possibility of wet-leasing five Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Qatar Airways. The aim is to address capacity challenges caused by the grounding of a significant number of its Airbus A320 planes due to mandatory engine inspections.

Under the wet leasing agreement  IndiGo plans to wet-lease these 737 MAX planes exclusively for the India-Qatar sector. Qatar Airways will provide the cockpit crew and handle maintenance and  IndiGo will also utilize their own cabin crews.

The lease duration is expected to be at least six months, covering the peak summer period in 2024. This move marks IndiGo’s first operation of Boeing 737 aircraft. Until now, their fleet has been primarily based on the Airbus A320 family. IndiGo currently operates 314 Airbus planes and has two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft leased from Turkish Airlines for long-haul flights.

The decision to operate Boeing 737s stems from the grounding of many Airbus A320s in the IndiGo fleet. These A320s are awaiting detailed inspections due to Pratt & Whitney engine issues. Currently, around 40 aircraft are grounded, and this number is expected to peak at 75 planes during 2024.

The grounding is related to 1,000 powerplants affected by powder metal contamination, which could lead to critical engine component cracks. Since early 2023, IndiGo has been actively seeking additional capacity to offset the shortfall.

The airline has already leased 11 older Airbus A320s. However, further expansion has been hindered by a lack of suitable aircraft on the lease market and rising lease rates.

The scarcity of used planes has become more pronounced worldwide as airlines retain aircraft intended for retirement. This phenomenon has contributed to the shortage of available aircraft for leasing. In summary, IndiGo’s strategic move to wet-lease Boeing 737 MAX planes from Qatar Airways aims to bridge the capacity gap caused by grounded A320s, ensuring smooth operations during peak travel seasons.




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