Shares of IndiGo parent InterGlobe Aviation hit an all-time high on Tuesday after India's largest airline placed the biggest-ever aircraft order with French aerospace giant Airbus.
Following the deal, the budget airline's stock opened at a record high of ₹2,490 apiece on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). During intraday trade, the counter was trading at ₹2,450 apiece, up about 1%.
IndiGo will buy 500 Airbus A320 aircraft, providing India's largest domestic carrier by market share with a steady stream of deliveries between 2030 and 2035.
The engine selection for this order will be done in due course and so will be the exact mix of A320 and A321 aircraft, the airline said in a statement. IndiGo's domestic market share stood at 61.4% in May. The airline flew 81.10 lakh domestic passengers during the month.
IndiGo operates over 300 aircraft and has previous orders of 480 aircraft which are yet to be delivered. With this additional order of 500 aircraft for 2030-2035, IndiGo's order book has almost 1,000 aircraft yet to be delivered well into the next decade. The airline's order book comprises a mix of A320neo, A321neo, and A321XLR aircraft.
"An orderbook now of almost 1,000 aircraft well into the next decade, enables IndiGo to fulfill its mission to continue to boost economic growth, social cohesion and mobility in India," said Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo.
IndiGo's 500-aircraft order comes months after Tata-owned Air India ordered 470 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus for $80 billion.
In an interview with Fortune India earlier in June, Elbers said that the airline operates 300 aircraft currently but flies to only 26 international destinations. "For a country the size of India and for a carrier the size of IndiGo, 26 is a very modest number. Look at the geographical position of India where we can operate a very different network out of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata. Let me give you just one example: we used to have flights out of 5 Indian cities, now it’s up to 7 including Bhuvaneshwar. We will soon be adding Bhubaneswar to Dubai. We can increase our international footprint similarly across many destinations. We also have plans to add new routes like Nairobi, Jakarta and Central Asia, which can be done with our existing aircraft," he said.
"We expect around 24-25 A321XLR aircraft to come in as per our existing order with Airbus. This will stretch further the destinations we can reach. Presently, we are flying up to Istanbul but with the XLR we can fly further into Europe and Asia," Elbers added.
For the January-March quarter, IndiGo's profit stood at ₹919.2 crore as against a loss of ₹1,681.8 crore in the same period a year ago. The company's revenue from operations surged 76.5% year-on-year to ₹14,160.6 crore in Q4 FY23 as against ₹8,020.7 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
Yield, the average amount of revenue received per paying passenger flown one kilometre, rose 10.2% year-on-year to ₹4.85 in Q4 FY23. The airline's load factor, or the passenger carrying capacity being utilised, improved by 7.5 percentage points to 84.2% during the quarter.
Rahul Bhatia, IndiGo co-founder and its current managing director, holds a 37.8% stake in the company.