Biggest plane deal in history: Airbus clinches massive order from India’s IndiGo

By Anna Cooban, CNN

London CNN  —  Airbus has just landed the biggest-ever aircraft order in the history of commercial aviation.

The French aerospace giant announced Monday that budget Indian airline IndiGo had placed an order for 500 of its A320 planes, to be delivered between 2030 and 2035.

The deal sets “the record for the biggest single purchase agreement in the history of commercial aviation,” Airbus (EADSY) said in a statement, and brings the total number of Airbus (EADSY) planes IndiGo has ordered to 1,330.

Founded in 2006, IndiGo is India’s top airline by market share, according to its website. It flew 86 million customers in the last financial year.

Aviation companies are eager to capitalize on India’s strong economy and its booming population, which may well translate into higher demand for air travel further down the line. In February, IndiGo’s rival Air India ordered more than 470 jets from Airbus and Boeing (BA).

Tech companies have also got the memo, with some expanding production and opening new stores in the country in anticipation of huge growth in their pool of customers.

The International Monetary Fund expects the South Asian nation to outperform all major emerging and advanced economies this year, logging 5.9% growth in gross domestic product. The United Nations also estimated in April that India was on track to overtake China to become the world’s most populous nation by the middle of the year, with 1.43 billion people.

Pieter Elbers, IndiGo’s chief executive, said in a statement that Monday’s order would help the company “fulfill its mission to continue to boost economic growth, social cohesion and mobility in India.” Three quarters of IndiGo’s flights travel to domestic destinations.

In India, Elbers added, “an expanding economy and rising disposable incomes continue to add millions of first-time flyers to a booming aviation market.”

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