New Delhi: Making its debut in India, the first eco-friendly A320 Neo built by European aircraft major Airbus landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport Friday, which was delivered to budget carrier IndiGo on Thursday.
IndiGo is also the first airline among Asian airlines to have inducted the latest aircraft from Airbus.
The delivery of the eco-friendly Airbus 320 (new engine option) planes to IndiGo, which is the largest customer of Airbus aircraft in India, was to be commenced from December last year but technical issues at that time forced a postponement.
"The delivery of the first brand new A320 Neo reaffirms IndiGo's commitment to the long-term future of aviation in India. This marks the beginning of the next phase of our growth and will enable us to make air transportation far more accessible for the people of India," IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said in a statement.
The A320 Neo fleet will set a benchmark by significantly reducing the impact on environment and lead the way to a more sustainable mode of flying, he said.
Airbus claims the new aircraft is 15 percent more fuel efficient than the exiting versions of A320.
IndiGo is one of Airbus' biggest A320 family customers
having ordered 530 aircraft in total till date in three phases.
IndiGo had also placed an order in 2005 for 100 A320s which have all been delivered to the carrier. This was followed by two more orders - one in 2011 for 180 A320 Neos and another for 250 Neos in 2015.
"This is a proud moment for us. The fact this delivery makes IndiGo the first A320 Neo operator in India and in Asia, makes this moment even more special," Ghosh said.
"It fills us with pride that IndiGo, India's largest airline and the biggest customer for our A320 Neo, has taken delivery of its first aircraft," Airbus Executive Vice President for Strategy and Marketing Kiran Rao said.
On top of best in class operational efficiencies and environmental benefits, the A320 Neo will offer IndiGo's passengers unmatched comfort, he said.
Powered by Pratt and Whitney's fuel-efficient geared turbo fan engines, the A320 Neos has many new features including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 percent by 2020, the statement said.
This is equivalent to a reduction of 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per aircraft per year. In addition, the A320 Neo provides a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise, it added.