IndiGo was set up in early 2006 by Rahul Bhatia of InterGlobe Enterprises and Rakesh Gangwal, a United States-based NRI. InterGlobe holds 51.12% stake in IndiGo and 48% is held by Gangwal’s Virginia-based company Caelum Investments. IndiGo placed a firm order for 100 Airbus A320-200 aircraft in June 2005 with plans to commence operations in mid-2006. IndiGo took delivery of its first Airbus A320-200 aircraft on 28 July 2006, nearly one year after placing the order, and commenced operations on 4 August 2006 with a service from New Delhi to Imphal via Guwahati. By the end of 2006, the airline had six aircraft. Nine more aircraft were acquired in 2007 taking the total to 15. By December 2010, IndiGo replaced the state run flag carrier Air India as the top third airline in India. It already had 17.3% of the market share, behind Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways. By early 2012, IndiGo had taken the delivery of its 50th aircraft in less than six years. In 2011, IndiGo placed an order for 180 aircraft Airbus A320 aircraft in a deal worth US$15 billion which pushed up the percentage of Airbus aircraft in India to 73%.
As of 2012, IndiGo was expanding rapidly and was the only profitable airline in India. It replaced Kingfisher as the second largest airline in India in terms of market share. IndiGo strongly adheres to a low-cost model, buying only one type of aircraft and keeping operational costs as low as possible along with an emphasis on punctuality. IndiGo added a new plane every six weeks and sometimes even faster. On 17 August 2012, IndiGo became the largest airline in India in terms of market share (27%) surpassing Jet Airways, six years after operations commenced.
In January 2013, IndiGo was the second fastest growing low-cost carrier in Asia behind Indonesian airline Lion Air. In February 2013, following the civil aviation ministry announcing that it would be allowing IndiGo to take the delivery of only five aircraft that year, reports suggested that the airline was in plans to introduce low-cost regional flights by setting up a subsidiary. However, IndiGo announced that it actually plans to seek permission from the ministry to acquire four more aircraft, therefore taking the delivery of nine aircraft in 2013. In August 2013, the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation ranked IndiGo among the 10 biggest low-cost carriers in the world.
In August 2015, IndiGo had placed an order of 250 Airbus A320neo aircraft worth $27 billion, making it the largest single order ever in Airbus history.
IndiGo operates to 38 destinations, 33 in India and 5 international, with more than 647 daily flights. In January 2011 IndiGo received a license to operate international flights after completing five years of operations. IndiGo’s first international service was launched between New Delhi and Dubai on 1 September 2011. Over the following weeks, the international services were expanded to serve Bangkok, Singapore, Muscat and Kathmandu from New Delhi and Mumbai. Now international flights are also operated from several cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. IndiGo is considering the launch of flights between Kolkata and Kunming, China.
In order to reduce operational overhead, IndiGo operates only the Airbus A320 family of aircraft in its fleet. It generally purchases new aircraft. As of September 2015, IndiGo operates the following aircraft.
IndiGo received its first A320 in July 2006 and at that time had hoped to induct all the 100 aircraft it had ordered by 2015–2016. However, the airline took delivery of its 100th aircraft on 4 November 2014 and completed its initial order ahead of schedule.
The Airbus A320neo family aircraft will be delivered between 2015 and 2022. Meanwhile, IndiGo has leased 12 Airbus A320 aircraft from Tiger air, to be delivered between December 2014 to May 2015, to assist with its expansion plans whilst awaiting delivery of its 430 Airbus A320n.
IndiGo placed an order for 100 Airbus A320 family aircraft during the 2005 Paris Air Show. The total order was worth US$6 billion, one of the highest during the show. IndiGo signed a memorandum of understanding for an additional 180 Airbus A320 aircraft including 150 with the New Engine Option (NEO) on 11 January 2011. This is one of the largest orders of its kind in commercial aviation history. IndiGo is also one of the launch customers of the brand new Airbus A320neo family. The cost of the order is expected to have exceeded US$15 billion. The final delivery from the order for 100 Airbus A320s was made in late 2014.
On the 15 October 2014, IndiGo expressed its intention to purchase 250 A320neo aircraft worth US$25.7 billion at list prices. On 15 August 2015, IndiGo firmed up its order for 250 A320neo aircraft for $26.5 billion. The order also provides IndiGo the flexibility to convert some A320s to A321neo which can seat more passengers and fly on longer routes.And the order 250 jets becomes Airbus’s single largest order by number of aircraft in history.