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.
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.