IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi International) is preparing to damp lease five B737-8s from Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad International), according to multiple Indian media reports. The Indian LCC is taking the step because 75 of its A320neo types remain grounded due to Pratt & Whitney engine issues.

India's Economic Times provides the most detail. That report says IndiGo will take five B737-8s from Qatar Airways on six-month damp lease terms over the upcoming IATA summer season. Qatar Airways will provide the aircraft, pilots, and maintenance, while IndiGo will provide the cabin crews. The aircraft will fly on the India - Qatar country pair.

Neither IndiGo Airlines nor Qatar Airways responded to a request for comment.

Except for two B777-300ERs IndiGo leases from Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul Airport) under a similar arrangement to that planned with Qatar Airways, the Indian carrier is an all-Airbus and ATR - Avions de Transport Régional operator. However, among those Airbus aircraft, ten of IndiGo's thirty A320-200 are wet-leased, including four from SmartLynx Airlines Estonia (MYX, Tallinn Lennart Meri) and six from SmartLynx Airlines (6Y, Riga).

According to ch-aviation fleets data, excluding the Smartlynx and Turkish leases, IndiGo's fleet comprises 347 aircraft, including twenty A320-200s of their own, 186 A320-200Ns, three A321-200(P2F)s, ninety-four A321-200NXs, and forty-four ATR72-600s. It also has a large order book comprising 269 A320-200Ns, 384 A321-200Ns, 224 A321-200NXs, sixty-nine A321-200NY(XLR)s, and six ATR72-600s.

Qatar's 269-strong fleet includes nine B737-8s. All are classed as active, and none are more than five years old. The report says the leased aircraft will be four years or younger. This trims the pool of candidate aircraft to five, namely A7-BSB (msn 43317), A7-BSC (msn 43329), A7-BSD (msn 43338), A7-BSE (msn 43342), and A7-BSI (msn 43312).

The newspaper reports that IndiGo pursued damp and wet lease options due to the shortage of young narrowbody aircraft available for dry leases for short time periods. The airline was also reportedly reluctant to lease older aircraft and risk maintenance issues, which could impact reliability.

IndiGo continues to talk with existing lessors about extending leases on current aircraft due to return. Historically, the airline has returned aircraft after six years. They are now attempting to hold onto many of them for longer until Pratt & Whitney resolves its engine and supply chain issues.