IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi International) is planning to phase-out its 122 remaining A320-200s shortly, possibly accelerating their retirement, as it seeks to use the COVID-19 pandemic to push towards a more efficient, all neo narrowbody fleet.

"We see an opportunity here to make the fleet more efficient. Particularly with the old classic ceos, which incur maintenance costs, which you know have been a real problem for us all through the year. We're going to return them as rapidly as possible and therefore reduce our maintenance costs," Chief Executive Ronojoy Dutta said during the carrier's quarterly investor call.

According to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module, all of IndiGo Airlines' A320-200s are dry-leased. Dutta underlined that the LCC has relatively short-term lease contracts and was due to return most of the aircraft in the coming years anyway. In the case of high demand, it could evaluate extending the leases, but in the current downturn, this will surely not happen.

Dutta underlined that the airline will seek to avoid any confrontation with the lessors and will not push for early termination of leases, choosing instead to return the aircraft as scheduled. The airline has been retiring A320s over the past months, having phased out eight units since the end of March 2019.

"We will return them in their scheduled time, and if we have mutually agreed upon it, we may do it a little faster," he said.

For the time being, the airline will use the A320-200s only "when necessary" with the bulk of its reduced schedule flown on A320-200neo and A321-200neo narrowbodies.

Dutta added that IndiGo Airlines would not stop taking deliveries of new A320neo Family aircraft. The airline already operates 100 A320neo and thirteen A321neo, and has a further 230 and 383 units of the respective types on firm order from Airbus, the ch-aviation fleets module shows. IndiGo Airlines also operates twenty-five ATR72-600s.