Indigo Eyes Leasing Qatar Airways 737 MAXs

Due to engine issues, Indigo is reportedly eyeing the lease of Boeing 737 MAXs from Qatar Airways as it battles with Airbus groundings.

India’s Indigo is one of the leading airlines battling Pratt & Whitney engine problems, impacting its operations with Airbus aircraft.

As a result, the airline is currently looking to the leasing market to help cover lost capacity and drive future growth plans.

Indigo has warned several times that it will expect anywhere from 10 to 20% lower growth in the most recent quarters as it battles with groundings and the lack of leasing market.

While Indigo has significant growth plans, including substantial orders, the Airbus A320 family is primarily sold out through the 2030s, which means the potential for short-term acquisitions doesn’t exist.

Indigo, therefore, must get creative with how it deals with capacity loss. For them, the leasing market has been something they’ve ventured towards before.

Boeing 737 MAX Time?

Indigo is reportedly in talks with Qatar Airways about a leasing arrangement to acquire 737 MAX jets.

If agreed, the deal would be done under a wet lease agreement per sources, which means Qatar Airways would provide their crews and other resources to the airlines.

Ultimately, Indigo isn’t unfamiliar with drafting aircraft, thanks to losing capacity through difficulties. The airline has flown several widebodies and other short-haul aircraft recently.

The 737 MAX jets are configured with business-class seats, opening up potential possibilities regarding premium domestic or international services for Indigo.

The Grounded Indigo Fleet

Indigo has a fleet of up to 361 aircraft, however, notably latest data indicates that the company has some 59 jets parked.

A total of 217 Airbus A320s are present, and this is spread across A320-200s and A320neos. However, of the 217 total aircraft across the A320 series, 41 are grounded.

Meanwhile, there are 97 Airbus A321S, with 15 A321neos already grounded, thanks to the ongoing Pratt & Whitney engine issues.

As a result, the company needs to try and find ways to lessen the blow of these capacity losses, and currently, the leasing market is deemed the only real solution.

Daniel Fowkes
06 Feb 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 

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