India’s largest air carrier is going public — and could raise $400 million

IndiGo plane interglobe aviation india airline
InterGlobe Aviation is the largest Indian airline by market share Saurabh Das/AP

India is chock-full of initial public offerings (IPOs) right now.

IndiGo, India’s largest air carrier, filed a draft prospectus on Tuesday for an IPO that would include the sale of 30.15 million existing shares worth 12.7 billion rupees, or $US199.64 million.

In total, the IPO could bring in close to $US400 million, according to Reuters.

The wire service also reports that among those who stand to fair the best from this massive offering is former U.S. Airways CEO Rakesh Gangwal. He left the company to found IndiGo in 2006.

Air travel in India has been increasing for some time now, and IndiGo has capitalised on this. Quartz reports:

Even as the industry was roiled by a raft of problems — high debt, increasing fuel costs, overcapacity and growing competitors — the low-cost carrier consistently posted profits over the past few years.

It is one of the only two airlines in India that made a profit in the 2015 financial year, according to estimates from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation India (CA PA India), an aviation consultancy firm. The other is Go Air.

In 2011, IndiGo agreed to purchase 180 Airbus A320neo aircraft. In October, the company placed an order for 250 more Airbus planes. Reuters reports that the term sheet for those deliveries has expired, and will be renegotiated as a result of the IPO.

According to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, domestic air travel in india is expected to rise 9.5% every year until at least 2031, making it an area of intense interest for airlines.

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