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Spiderguy252
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Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:29 pm

There are currently just 20 A321s flying in India, all belonging to AI and delivered between 2007 - 2010. AI also operates A320s (CEOs & NEOs) and A319s, and both types individually outnumber the A321s in the fleet.

IndiGo operates a large number of A320s, and have a humongous order for NEOs which they have started taking delivery of - 400 or so. Only 25 of these have been converted to A321NEOs.

The other three Airbus operators - Vistara, GoAir and AirAsia India likewise only operate A320 CEOs and NEOs with large orders for the same.

So what's the deal? One would think in a market like India the extra capacity would appeal to one or more of these airlines - but the A321 has so far been unable to dig deep. If there is no particular reason, do you foresee some of these orders being scaled up to the larger plane in the years ahead?

Similarly, the 737 operators - Jet, SpiceJet and Air India Express either don't or operate only small numbers of 737-900s/900ERs. None of them have the -9/-10 MAX on order. But perhaps this one is more understandable.
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:54 pm

Spiderguy252 wrote:

Similarly, the 737 operators - Jet, SpiceJet and Air India Express either don't or operate only small numbers of 737-900s/900ERs. None of them have the -9/-10 MAX on order. But perhaps this one is more understandable.


Spicejet committed to 40 737-10s at the Paris air show.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-boei ... SKBN19A1ME

There was also some speculation that some of Jet Airways 737 MAX orders may turn to 737-10s

So there isn't a fundamental reason why larger narrowbodies aren't desirable in India. I don't know why A321s haven't been ordered in significant numbers.
 
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Loew
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:51 pm

I think it is all about the capacity, crew costs and aircraft operation costs. An LCC A320neo would be configured with 186 seats, an LCC A321neo would be configured with 239 seats. I am not sure what is the F/A requirement in India, but in EU or USA an A320neo with 186 seats needs 4 F/As, however and A321neo with 239 seats would need 5. Now if we look around the world, we see that most of LCC´s like to have their planes slightly below 200 seats and only a handful of LCC airlines operate larger planes on short/medium haul flights, but almost always only as a rather small subfleet.

A321 neo also offers almost 30% more seats than A320neo. A321 is also heavier, incurring higher operation costs (landing fees, handling fees, etc.)
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:29 am

Loew wrote:
I think it is all about the capacity, crew costs and aircraft operation costs. An LCC A320neo would be configured with 186 seats, an LCC A321neo would be configured with 239 seats. I am not sure what is the F/A requirement in India, but in EU or USA an A320neo with 186 seats needs 4 F/As, however and A321neo with 239 seats would need 5. Now if we look around the world, we see that most of LCC´s like to have their planes slightly below 200 seats and only a handful of LCC airlines operate larger planes on short/medium haul flights, but almost always only as a rather small subfleet.


Fair call, but the demand on some trunk routes may offset the costs of housing the additional FA for what is a short haul flight: the likes of BOM-DEL/MAA/BLR where widebodies are being deployed by AI and 9W at the moment.
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juliuswong
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:14 am

I believe AirAsia India will be operating some of the Group's 100 A321neo, currently on order.
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Bostrom
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:48 am

Spiderguy252 wrote:
Loew wrote:
I think it is all about the capacity, crew costs and aircraft operation costs. An LCC A320neo would be configured with 186 seats, an LCC A321neo would be configured with 239 seats. I am not sure what is the F/A requirement in India, but in EU or USA an A320neo with 186 seats needs 4 F/As, however and A321neo with 239 seats would need 5. Now if we look around the world, we see that most of LCC´s like to have their planes slightly below 200 seats and only a handful of LCC airlines operate larger planes on short/medium haul flights, but almost always only as a rather small subfleet.


Fair call, but the demand on some trunk routes may offset the costs of housing the additional FA for what is a short haul flight: the likes of BOM-DEL/MAA/BLR where widebodies are being deployed by AI and 9W at the moment.


Probably, but as long it is only on some routes, it might be easier to have a single aircraft type in the fleet. Even if it means not selling as much tickets as you could have sold with a larger aircraft.
 
mcgreg
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:34 am

juliuswong wrote:
I believe AirAsia India will be operating some of the Group's 100 A321neo, currently on order.


This is also what I heard of.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:34 am

Quick sidebar:
Does AI still have the 4-bogie A320s they inherited? Too lazy to look it up, but figured someone reading this would know.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:40 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Quick sidebar:
Does AI still have the 4-bogie A320s they inherited? Too lazy to look it up, but figured someone reading this would know.


Affirmative. These were the ones inherited from IC, and one of them is even carrying the Star livery:



However, they are being phased out as the NEOs enter the fleet.
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:47 am

Spiderguy252 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Quick sidebar:
Does AI still have the 4-bogie A320s they inherited? Too lazy to look it up, but figured someone reading this would know.

Affirmative. These were the ones inherited from IC, and one of them is even carrying the Star livery:

However, they are being phased out as the NEOs enter the fleet.

Sad to see them go. Always wish we could see an A321 with the double-bogie! *sigh*
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:34 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Quick sidebar:
Does AI still have the 4-bogie A320s they inherited? Too lazy to look it up, but figured someone reading this would know.


They were converted back to 2 wheel units years back and some retired, per old articles.
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:06 am

I suspect it’s as much about financing terms as anything. A321 was more of a niche until recently with questionable residual value. Now the tables have flipped and it commands a premium
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:38 am

rbavfan wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Quick sidebar:
Does AI still have the 4-bogie A320s they inherited? Too lazy to look it up, but figured someone reading this would know.


They were converted back to 2 wheel units years back and some retired, per old articles.


None were converted IIRC. They were retired without modifications.

Can you provide a source for your claim?
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:05 pm

I think it's a combination of factors. 1) The Indian domestic market is still not mature enough to support larger models. 2) With the exception of Delhi and Mumbai, Indian airports are not congested and have lots of capacity for extra frequencies. 3) Historically, airlines prefer the economics of the 180-200 seater. In general, the A321 has always been a smaller subfleet. AA with their huge A321 fleet is an anomaly.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:32 pm

India is a small country (flight time wise) - you can get almost anywhere within a 2.5 hr flight window.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:33 pm

Indigo has some A321neos on Order, I expected more A321's from other airlines, it will work great on domestic routes such as BOM-DEL where there is a lot of traffic.

Airlines who don't want to order widebodys they can use A321 to Middle East or other Asian destinations where there is a lot of demand.
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:39 am

airbazar wrote:
I think it's a combination of factors. 1) The Indian domestic market is still not mature enough to support larger models. 2) With the exception of Delhi and Mumbai, Indian airports are not congested and have lots of capacity for extra frequencies. 3) Historically, airlines prefer the economics of the 180-200 seater. In general, the A321 has always been a smaller subfleet. AA with their huge A321 fleet is an anomaly.


:frown:

Among the major airports, only DEL and BLR have space for any significant addition of frequencies, everybody else is nearing the brim.
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:05 pm

The A321 cost per passenger advantage grows with stage length. India is mostly shirt stage lengths. However with longer engine overhaul intervals for the A321NEO, there is more of an economic advantage to the A321.

I expect the long Airbus and Boeing to be outnumbered by the A320/A321.

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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:39 am

Spiderguy252 wrote:
Among the major airports, only DEL and BLR have space for any significant addition of frequencies, everybody else is nearing the brim.


How much is significant? I got the impression that DEL does have room for additional frequencies, but during some times of the day not many. It's not difficult to back up that airport.

I haven't really figured out the economics of Indian aviation. The airlines have so many planes on order that you'd think there was massive under-capacity in the market (slot filled airports furthers this view.) But then there are the losses of the carriers which suggests that there is over-capacity in the market and they need to cut capacity to increase fares.
 
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 am

IndiGo has finally ordered 150 A321Neos (conversion from A320Neo) :champagne: :champagne:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/bus ... 566239.cms
 
RalXWB
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:00 am

So much catching up...
 
parapente
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:42 am

It's a good thread starter question.Or perhaps one should say it was.It seems the switch from mid sized marrowbodies to the stretched variants is just starting about now.The launch and availability off the line of both the dash 10 MAX and the A321neo are both fairly recent ( clearly the dash 10 hasn't reached that final stage yet).It appears the switches are beginning to happen.
It seems in general that these stretched aircaft are/ will be used in two ways.
1. Legacy carriers ( mainly in the West) are fitting them with 2/3 classes and thus dropping to the Magic 200 pax number.( but it's high margin anyway)
2. Classic LCC at circa 230+ pax.For this you have to increase your staffing overhead by one so whether it becomes worth while or not depends on your marginal profit for those last 30 passengers.Its already working with some LCC's around the World perhaps India will be next.
Question
What's the LCC profit margins like in India - I have no idea.If v low then the additional pax may not be worth it.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:26 am

Why is it not popular? Two words come to mind. Tail strikes.

Yes, Indigo is getting A321Ns, but now they have to train a subset of the crew on A321s and roster them on A321 routes.
 
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unrave
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:50 am

dtw2hyd wrote:
Why is it not popular? Two words come to mind. Tail strikes.

Yes, Indigo is getting A321Ns, but now they have to train a subset of the crew on A321s and roster them on A321 routes.

Vikram Dhawan is a senior pilot and crew trainer at IndiGo. He has confirmed that there is no separate crew for A321N
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Cunard
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:52 am

Spiderguy252 wrote:
rbavfan wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Quick sidebar:
Does AI still have the 4-bogie A320s they inherited? Too lazy to look it up, but figured someone reading this would know.


They were converted back to 2 wheel units years back and some retired, per old articles.


None were converted IIRC. They were retired without modifications.

Can you provide a source for your claim?


I wouldn't be too concerned or waiting long for him to provide a source for his claim because he won't find one as your absolutely correct as none were ever converted or modified.

As already stated they are being replaced and retired by Air India as new aircraft enter the fleet.
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anshabhi
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:45 pm

Cunard wrote:
Spiderguy252 wrote:
rbavfan wrote:

They were converted back to 2 wheel units years back and some retired, per old articles.


None were converted IIRC. They were retired without modifications.

Can you provide a source for your claim?


I wouldn't be too concerned or waiting long for him to provide a source for his claim because he won't find one as your absolutely correct as none were ever converted or modified.

As already stated they are being replaced and retired by Air India as new aircraft enter the fleet.

Yeah all the classic A320s have been retired and replaced with NEOs. I don't think there's much point in converting 4 wheelers to 2, as it would offer no advantage, but would be a costly modification to do.
 
sciing
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:20 pm

parapente wrote:
It's a good thread starter question.Or perhaps one should say it was.It seems the switch from mid sized marrowbodies to the stretched variants is just starting about now.The launch and availability off the line of both the dash 10 MAX and the A321neo are both fairly recent ( clearly the dash 10 hasn't reached that final stage yet).It appears the switches are beginning to happen.
It seems in general that these stretched aircaft are/ will be used in two ways.
1. Legacy carriers ( mainly in the West) are fitting them with 2/3 classes and thus dropping to the Magic 200 pax number.( but it's high margin anyway)
2. Classic LCC at circa 230+ pax.For this you have to increase your staffing overhead by one so whether it becomes worth while or not depends on your marginal profit for those last 30 passengers.Its already working with some LCC's around the World perhaps India will be next.
Question
What's the LCC profit margins like in India - I have no idea.If v low then the additional pax may not be worth it.

I guess you hit the nail. How many LCC have an A321 and how long?
LCC preferred one model a long time.
Spirit, Frontier, WIZZ, Vietjet, Vueling got their 1st just 3 years ago. EasyJet just started with the neo. Air Asia has none.
JetBlue was maybe one of the 1st one in 2013.
So no A321 is nothing special for a LCC especially in Asia.
 
fjhc
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:29 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Why is it not popular? Two words come to mind. Tail strikes.

Yes, Indigo is getting A321Ns, but now they have to train a subset of the crew on A321s and roster them on A321 routes.


Given how popular the A321 is everywhere else, someone might want to let those airlines know about the possibility of tail strikes on the A321.....
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Why is the A321 not popular in India?

Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:53 pm

fjhc wrote:
Given how popular the A321 is everywhere else, someone might want to let those airlines know about the possibility of tail strikes on the A321.....


They all learned the hard way or by watching others. It is not just A321 any stretched narrow body has a high probability of a tail strike. Rostering freshly minted cadets on an A321 is not a good idea.

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