Home' Asian Aviation : AAV February 2011 Contents General News
IndiGo, India's largest low-cost carrier, has
signed a Memorandum of Understanding
with Airbus to acquire 180 A320 jetliners, 150
of which will be re-engined A320neo's and 30
will be standard A320s.
Airbus says the agreement is "the
largest single firm order" for commercial
jetliners in aviation history, while also
making IndiGo the launch customer for
the A320neo. The airline will announce its
choice of engine at a later date.
Available from 2016, the A320neo
replaces the current powerplants -- CFM
International CFM56 or International Aero
Engines (IAE) V2500 turbofans -- with all-
new, more efficient engines such as CFM's
Leap-X or Pratt & Whitney's PW1000G.
The upgraded aircraft will also have
Sharklet wingtips, which offer fuel savings
of up to 15 percent, cutting carbon dioxide
emissions by up to 3,600t annually per
The A320neo also provides a double-digit
percentage reduction in NOx emissions and
reduced engine noise, the manufacturer says.
"Ordering more A320s was the natural
choice to meet India's growing flying needs,"
say IndiGo co-founders Rakesh Gangwal
and Rahul Bhatia. "The opportunity to
reduce costs and to further improve our
environmental performance through the
A320neo [was] key to our decision."
Airbus has to date received orders for
about 6,800 A320-family single-aisle jetliners
and has delivered some 4,500 to more than
310 customers and operators worldwide.
That makes the A320 the world's best-selling
single-aisle aircraft family, the manufacturer
The A320neo improves the type's efficiency
while maintaining more than 95 percent
airframe commonality with existing versions
of the aircraft. It will also offer up to 500
nautical miles (950km) more range or 2t
more payload. -- Andrzej Jeziorski
IATA predicts bright future for commercial aviation in Vietnam
IndiGo places largest aircraft order ever, launching A320neo
The International Air Transport Association
(IATA) says Vietnam will become the world's
third-fastest growing market for international
passengers and freight traffic by 2014, and the
second-fastest for domestic passengers.
However, the country needs to prepare by
focusing on three areas of improvement: air
traffic management technology; cost-efficiency
for airports and air navigation services; and
improved business efficiency, the organization
"The future for Vietnamese aviation is
bright. But it is a future that cannot be taken
for granted," says Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's
Director General and CEO. "Vietnamese
aviation must be built and supported by sound
policies that take into account that this is a
dynamic industry where change is the only
Bisignani visited Vietnam in mid-January,
meeting with Vietnam Airlines, the Southern
Airport Corporation and Vietnam Air Traffic
Management (VATM). During the meetings,
the IATA chief highlighted the areas for
"Vietnam has a world-class air navigation
service provider," Bisignani says, adding that
VATM predecessor VANSCORP was awarded
an IATA Eagle Award for most improved air-
navigation services provider in 2009. "While
VATM has taken over from VANSCORP, there
is still a lot of work to be done to prepare
the region for the expected enormous traffic
Bisignani says he hopes VATM "will make
the implementation of ADS-B [automated
dependent surveillance -- broadcast] and
Performance Based Navigation (PBN) a priority".
ADS-B allows aircraft to fly more efficiently
using satellite navigation systems while PBN uses
on-board equipment to improve landings.
On cost-efficiency, Bisignani says IATA
members are grateful for the three-year discount
scheme implemented in April 2010, to reduce
airline charges at Vietnam's major airports.
"It is a clear signal that the government
recognizes the important aviation plays, and
will support the aviation growth in Vietnam,"
he says. "Additional efforts are also needed
to reduce the cost burden on current users of
Vietnam's airports and airspace."
As Vietnam's airports expand to meet
growing air-travel demand, Bisignani adds that it
is important to have cost-efficient infrastructure
"following ICAO's charging principles of
consultation with users, transparency, cost
recovery and non-discrimination" to maximize
the benefits that aviation brings.
To improve efficiency, Bisignani urged
Vietnam's industry to take advantage of IATA's
'Simplifying the Business' project, which
includes such elements as e-freight, which
removes paper from the cargo supply chain and
will generate an estimated US$4.9 billion in
IATA, Vietnam Airlines and freight forwarders
are looking to implement e-freight in Vietnam,
but the government must first ratify the
Montreal Convention 99, Bisignani says.
"At the end of 2010, airlines worldwide
completed the implementation of the 2D bar-
coded boarding pass (BCBP)," the IATA head
says. "But airlines operating at Hanoi Noi Bai
Airport are still unable to reap the benefits
from the BCBP, as the cost-efficient 2D bar
code technology will only be available in the
first half of this year. This is a rare exception
in a world that is over 99 percent BCBP-
"I urge the Northern Airport Corporation to
make the implementation of BCBP a priority,"
said Bisignani. BCBP will save the industry
up to US$1.5 billion annually, IATA says. --
6 AsianAviation | FEBRUARY 2011
All but 30 of aircraft in the IndiGo order will be
re-engined and upgraded A320neo variants.
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