An Indian low-cost airline, IndiGo, has become a likely launch customer for the newest version of Airbus' popular A320 single-aisle jet.
IndiGo signed a memorandum of understanding with European planemaker Airbus to buy up to 180 A320 aircraft, including 150 of the A320neo version of the twin-engine plane.
The other 30 in the pending order will be present generation A320s.
The A320neo is the latest version of the A320. It will be equipped with next-generation engines from Pratt & Whitney or CFM. Airbus says that the new engines and aerodynamic improvements such as wingtip “sharklets” will improve the plane’s fuel consumption by 15 percent.
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Boeing still is contemplating whether to put a new engine in its rival 737 to compete with the A320neo. Boeing executives have hinted the Chicago-based planemaker might opt for an entirely new aircraft instead of an updated and re-engined 737.
IndiGo hasn’t indicated which of the new engines it will choose. The first of the new version planes will be delivered in 2016.