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Old 18th July 2014, 17:16   #301
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
Of late, I have seen the Indigo A320s make an annoying humming noise during take off. The noise gradually reduces once the aircraft reaches cruising altitude. I heard this noise on 4 different occasions on 2 different sectors. So the chances of me flying the same plane was quite slim. Any idea what this noise could be?
They usually make a slight howl right? Is this what you are referring to as hum? My last Pune trip in Indigo made me feel that the engines made a sound similar to my LG direct drive washing machine. If that is the sound I think its normal. Have heard it on most A320s I have travelled.
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Old 19th July 2014, 18:31   #302
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

I have felt the same when I travelled by Indigo three to four times. I was regularly flying between Mumbai and Chennai in the last 8 months, and this noise will be annoying. I normally prefer center of the aircraft. As stated by Jaguar, the noise is higher while climbing altitude.

However with boeing 737-800, I don't hear this noise, its much calmer in fact. But since Jet airways being the preferred airline partner for my company, I mostly travel in Boeing aircrafts.

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Of late, I have seen the Indigo A320s make an annoying humming noise during take off. The noise gradually reduces once the aircraft reaches cruising altitude. I heard this noise on 4 different occasions on 2 different sectors. So the chances of me flying the same plane was quite slim. Any idea what this noise could be?
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Old 19th July 2014, 19:21   #303
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I know what you mean, I've experienced it a few times myself, but I have no immediate explanation either.
Jeroen
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Old 12th October 2014, 13:45   #304
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

This has got to be the best aircraft livery design ever. Check out the "sunroof" and the "secret agent code"!

Click on the picture below for bigger image.

Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review-6kulula.jpg

Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review-kukula2.jpg

Last edited by smartcat : 12th October 2014 at 13:50.
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Old 14th October 2014, 10:36   #305
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
My last Pune trip in Indigo made me feel that the engines made a sound similar to my LG direct drive washing machine. If that is the sound I think its normal. Have heard it on most A320s I have travelled.
I liked the example you quoted

I guess this is not limited to A320's. I had heard this even on other Airbus flights, it was a Cathay Pacific. I guess it was A330.
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Old 14th October 2014, 12:02   #306
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

The Indian skies remain a bit of a troubled space. Here's the latest

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/44807127.cms

In addition to this new case the article also mentions what happened earlier this years:

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During a recent training audit on Jet Airways, the DGCA found 131 pilots flying with lapsed proficiency check certificates, which are to be renewed twice a year
Although the article puts a lot of blame on JerAirways, which is probably true and fair, one has to question each and every pilot involved as well.

Pilots have a formal responsibility to ensure they have the correct certification before commencing a flight. That means correct pilots licence, type licence, correct type rating, IFR rating, current appropiate medical certificate etc.

The list is long, but I can guarantee you that every pilot in the world knows exactly whether he or she is legal to fly, which plane, what conditions etc.

If you don't have the appropiate legally required documents, or they have expired, you should not fly. Period.

Jeroen
( Unfortunately, I'm not current anymore on my pilots license in any way, not even VFR. It is impossible to keep a VFR rating up let alone an IFR rating if you're not flying, or flying as little as I have done the last two years. My medical has expired too. So the little bit of flying I still do when I visit the USA and Europe is always with a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor next to me in the right seat. Officially he is the pilot in command and I'm the student (again!))
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Old 17th October 2014, 22:16   #307
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Can someone please give an insight about what's the idea behind IndiGo placing an order for 250 A320neo? Are they serious about it? It would be great if someone shared the technical as well as economic background?

Technically, how much of the Domestic traffic can they aim at capturing? Even foreign destinations are limited due to the aircraft type. With only A320s in the fleet, what do they aim at achieving?

Though I am a noob in aviation, I guess they should have expanded their fleet with wide body AC which can at least give higher pax per trip especially on routes with high demand. How logical will it be to use the same aircraft irrespective of route demand, location etc? Though maintaining uniform fleets will prove to be beneficial on the maintenance front, this seems to be heights.
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Old 18th October 2014, 13:33   #308
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

^^ Many budget airlines do that. Spicejet fleet is all Boeing 737.

I don't think Indigo files beyond Singapore or Dubai. A 320 can easily do that, I suppose.
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Old 18th October 2014, 13:59   #309
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I Audioholic, you're asking if they should have an Air Asia X equivalent. You can research it up (enough on the net).

Bigger aircraft = bigger fixed costs and bigger losses if things go bad.

Even biggies like Delta have long haul 777 type routes that lose them 20-70 MN $ per year! Not everyone can replicate an Emirates! Etihad and Qatar haven't had anywhere as comparable success despite closely replicating their prices and services.

Note that there aren't that many big hugely undeserved point to point markets fit for aWide body for them to just walk into. The others are not total push overs either! Further, Changing fleet type has big ramifications on operations and engineering. They can capture far more with the current setup profitably than try and over reach. I'm not saying it's inherently a bad idea just that they better served by continuing with their current strategy add of now.

Last edited by phamilyman : 18th October 2014 at 14:14.
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Old 18th October 2014, 16:08   #310
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
^^ Many budget airlines do that. Spicejet fleet is all Boeing 737.
Yes. Thats from the maintenance part of view. However, spicejet does have smaller Dash 8s to cover shorter hops, whereas IndiGo uses the same A320s everywhere. Also, in case of spicejet we are talking about 38 B737s in service and 42 on order, which totally comes upto what IndiGo is flying already. Upon that, wikipedia states that the new orders sum up to 431. This is the thing I'm curious about.

Either they have an excellent business structure(which I want to understand) or they have too much money to invest.

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Even biggies like Delta have long haul 777 type routes that lose them 20-70 MN $ per year! Not everyone can replicate an Emirates! Etihad and Qatar haven't had anywhere as comparable success despite closely replicating their prices and services.

Note that there aren't that many big hugely undeserved point to point markets fit for aWide body for them to just walk into. The others are not total push overs either! Further, Changing fleet type has big ramifications on operations and engineering. They can capture far more with the current setup profitably than try and over reach. I'm not saying it's inherently a bad idea just that they better served by continuing with their current strategy add of now.
They are doing well no doubt. Bigger aircraft doesnt necessarily mean a B777 or an A380. Something in the lines of a medium size A330 or even an A321. I see in Wiki that they have some A321s on order too, which is something on the lines I was. The only question is where do they plan to put these into full utilization, considering some new competition is joining the fight.

If they plan to phase out the older aircraft and replace them with new AC, thats definitely a welcome move and that is what I am thinking they would do.
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Old 18th October 2014, 16:20   #311
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Can someone please give an insight about what's the idea behind IndiGo placing an order for 250 A320neo? Are they serious about it? It would be great if someone shared the technical as well as economic background?

Technically, how much of the Domestic traffic can they aim at capturing? Even foreign destinations are limited due to the aircraft type. With only A320s in the fleet, what do they aim at achieving?

Though I am a noob in aviation, I guess they should have expanded their fleet with wide body AC which can at least give higher pax per trip especially on routes with high demand. How logical will it be to use the same aircraft irrespective of route demand, location etc? Though maintaining uniform fleets will prove to be beneficial on the maintenance front, this seems to be heights.
The aircraft manufacturers generally give discounts depending on how many aircraft are ordered at a single point in time. Considering the number of aircraft, Indigo must have gotten a substantial discount on the list price of the aircraft (some sources say, almost as much as 40%). Hence, it makes sense to order large amounts of aircraft at a go (other examples of this are other LCCs such as Ryanair, Southwest and so on). Incidentally, this takes the total number of 320s, that Indigo has on order to 430 (An order of 180 was placed in the last couple of years). They are also taking a few aircraft on lease from Tigerair (in the next few months) (the first used aircraft in Indigo's fleet).

Regarding their business plan, even though Indigo has placed the order (even previously - their inaugural 100 plane order with Airbus and the above mentioned orders), they do not own any of the planes that have been delivered so far. As soon, as the plane is ready for delivery, they sell the planes to a leasing company and lease the aircraft from them. This way generate a lot of instant cash (also, the aircraft may be sold at a profit, based on the discounts offered by Airbus), which many analysts believe to be the secret behind Indigo's consistent profits (despite the red ink for all the other operators). Indigo does not have to file public financial statements, as they are not yet a publicly listed company.

This also helps as Indigo do not believe in keeping the aircraft for long. Of the initial 100 plane order, 98/99 (do not recall the exact number) have been delivered to Indigo, so far. Out of these, they have only 83 in operations at present, with the other 16 having been returned to the leaser (before the heavy maintenance is required, hereby reducing the heavy associated costs). These 16 aircraft have already been placed with other airlines.

In light of the above, all these 430 aircraft will not be in service at any point in time. Most of the older aircraft will be returned, as newer aircraft are delivered. The newer batch of orders are the new 320NEOs and so, demand for these will be high in the used market.

Also, the order is for the 320NEO family and it can be assumed that at least a major portion of the orders will be for the elder sibling, the 321NEO which can accommodate upto 240 people in a single class layout. This can be used for high demand routes domestically. These newer planes also have an increased range, hence enabling Indigo to cover more of Asia (Middle East, South East, China and so on).

The order also fits in with Indigo sticking to a single fleet type (a commonality with other LCCs - Ryanair with their 737-800s, SouthWest with their 737-700s (and a few older types of 737s) and so on). Other LCCs in India which have tried multiple fleet types (Deccan with 320s and ATRs and SpiceJet with 737s and Q400s) have not fared too well. That said, there are rumours that Indigo was considering Embraer aircraft (Embraer 170s and Embraer 190s - currently flown by Air Costa in India).

According to the reports for September, Indigo has cornered 32% (approximately) of the Indian market, with the Jet family being its closest competitor (with approximately 20%).

I am not in the aviation industry and the above are merely my observations.
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Old 18th October 2014, 16:24   #312
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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I am not in the aviation industry and the above are merely my observations.
Thanks for the view. Agree with your observations. Having an assorted fleet will definitely not help, but at the same time I felt they could at least do with two types, and employ these aircraft depending upon the route density and demand.
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Old 18th October 2014, 16:53   #313
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Thanks for the view. Agree with your observations. Having an assorted fleet will definitely not help, but at the same time I felt they could at least do with two types, and employ these aircraft depending upon the route density and demand.
To my mind, they have not yet reached the kind of network saturation that Air Asia has reached on its ASEAN routes. In that circumstance you would like to move to a bigger longer range aircraft (maybe the 350 once it launches) like the 330s of the world (which is again what AAX did).

Who knows, they may actually do as you are surmising by 2020, maybe?
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Old 18th October 2014, 19:55   #314
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
wikipedia states that the new orders sum up to 431. This is the thing I'm curious about.

Either they have an excellent business structure(which I want to understand) or they have too much money to invest.
I read many of these orders will go towards replacement of existing fleet, as they replace the aircraft once they are 6 years old. Also I think immediately upon delivery, they sell the aircraft to banks/institutions and lease them back, to remove the loan from their books.
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Old 18th October 2014, 21:36   #315
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Default Re: Airbus A320 Long-Term, 3 Million KMs Review

This single Aircraft type strategy will not fully work in India. A high number of Indian airports cannot accommodate A320s. That is one of the reaons every major airline except Go and Indigo have smaller a/c types.

The smaller aircraft achieve a number of things. One is the ability to operate at a profit on many of the smaller routes. Routes like Delhi to Shimla or Kullu hardly has any cheap fares to speak of. Spice Jet made a windfall operating to Allahabad during the Kumbh Mela wish their Bombardier (Dash 8 Q-400) aircraft.

Another is that these smaller routes feed into the airlines mainline flights. On a rough guess, abut 20-30 people on the Spice Jet flight to Kochi operated with a Q500 form Maldives feed into their evening B 737 connecting flight to BOM and DEL .

One another advantage is the ability to downsize as required when your flights do not fill up as expected especially when you have multiple frequencies. Jet Airways for instance can if required (I am not sure they do) downgrade some of their Bangalore Koch flights scheduled to operate with a B 737 to a smaller ATR aircraft. These means lesser cancellations and more reliability. Interestingly most of Jet Airways operations on Chennai Bangalore is on the smaller ATRs nowadays than the bigger Boeing 737 which means it is likely that it may be the only airline which is making a profit on a key route which is now a blood bath thanks to the hara-kiri (not for the passengers) being committed by Indigo and Air Asia. Do keep in mind that of the 999 fares we love, the airline gets to keep less than 500 because the rest are government or airport taxes. In such a scenario, downsizing to the right aircraft has its advantages.

As an earlier poster said. it will be interesting to know how much of the profit Indigo makes is accounted by actual operations and not sale and lease back. This is not to say that Indigo is doing anything wrong - Sale and Leaseback is done by almost every major airline. But it may give a misleading impression that in India there is only airline group which knows how to do the business the right way , which may not be the case. I did remember reading about one of the head honchos of Spice Jet mentioning that his airline is suffering from legacy losses (losses accumulated long before he came into the scene) and I have some sympathy for him. The way things look like now, no one else other than Indigo can seem to do things right. That is not the case- most are suffering from past sins, sins committed long before the new management took over. Take for example the old Indian Airlines. Even now the domestic network of the current Air India (the old Indian Airlines) has a good product, is managed well, has good network connectivity etc. but is suffering from the ill thought out merger with the erstwhile Air India.
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