Connect with us

Business News

IndiGo to operate flights to Nairobi, Jakarta, some Central Asian destinations: CEO




IndiGo to operate flights to Nairobi, Jakarta, some Central Asian destinations: CEO

Indigo has more than 300 aircraft in its fleet. (file photo)

New Delhi:

The country’s biggest airline IndiGo, which is “back with a bang”, is looking to start flights to Nairobi, Jakarta and some Central Asian destinations, according to its chief Peter Albers, as the carrier focuses on internationalisation.

Amid stiff competition and Air India gearing up for expansion with massive aircraft orders, the IndiGo chief asserted that there is a lot of growth ahead in the Indian market which “justifies multiple airlines”.

“There is a lot going on in the Indian aviation landscape… The fact that Indian aviation is entering the next phase, including the consolidation being done under the Air India Group, is a natural evolution of the market.

“I look at competition. It’s good to have competition, but it’s going to be competition that goes along with the evolution of the market,” Albers said in an interview here.

IndiGo, which has over 300 aircraft in its fleet, currently operates to 76 domestic and 26 international destinations. Flights have also been announced for two more domestic destinations – Nashik and Dharamshala.

According to him, the Indian aviation market, which is very vibrant and dynamic, is recovering very strongly.

“IndiGo is back with a bang,” said Albers, adding that India’s economic growth is helping IndiGo grow and IndiGo’s network is helping boost economic growth locally .

The airline operates around 1,800 flights per day and in terms of current seat offerings, it is around 80 per cent domestic and 20 per cent international.

“We will be introducing new flights to Nairobi (Kenya) and Jakarta (Indonesia) this coming summer. We are looking at some destinations Central Asia but haven’t decided yet… Internationalization is a big part of our agenda part” Albers said.

Furthermore, he said that Nairobi and Jakarta are two important points for tourism, trade and connecting with the Indian diaspora. “So, all that combined, we have a great offer”.

“With India’s potential for further growth and India’s position even more so when the XLRs are coming, we are very ambitious to create more international connectivity. A significant portion of (international travel by Indians) today is by international carriers.” There could be a higher stake for us as an Indian carrier,” the IndiGo chief said.

For the three months ending December 2022, IndiGo reports a sharp rise in profit to Rs 1,422.6 crore and its highest ever quarterly revenue of Rs 15,410.2 crore as travel demand remains strong.

The budget airline carried 22.3 million passengers in the December quarter and has a domestic market share of 56.1 per cent in 2022.

On starting operations with wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft, the IndiGo chief said it was the first step born out of capacity requirement.

“The market is growing and we were facing a supply chain situation, we really needed capacity. The flight has been up for two weeks and we see a very positive response from the market. Code shares very well beyond Istanbul working from,” he said.

Indigo started operating B777 aircraft on the Delhi-Istanbul route from February 1 on wet lease from Turkish Airlines. The aircraft has a seating capacity of 400 passengers in economy and business class.

Without giving specific details about the Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situation, the IndiGo chief said it is “basically a stable situation”.

“We have stabilized the supply chain situation and we are talking with suppliers to have a good support in dealing with it. We have extended leases, we have wet leases… we have total financial year There will be capacity for 2023 which is in line with the initial plan,” he said.

Supply chain crisis is affecting the airline industry across the globe resulting in delay in delivery of planes.

Albers also wanted to emphasize that IndiGo operates around 1,800 flights every day and wide body flight is one of them.

On the airline’s plans to move to wide-body aircraft, Albers said it always kept the option of wide-body aircraft open, but did not reveal specific details.

“Indigo has never ruled out any option. We have a significant order book. We have around 500 aircraft on order… We have a steady stream of deliveries. Our focus and emphasis will be on that part. We have an XLR order which will further increase the range of operations for IndiGo,” he said.

The airline has placed orders with Airbus for the A321XLR aircraft, which will have a longer range and these aircraft are expected to arrive in 2024-25, depending on the delivery schedule of the aircraft manufacturer.

Asked if there could be a possibility of converting some of IndiGo’s aircraft on order to wide-body, Albers said the focus of the aircraft order is to serve its existing network.

Noting that the airline continues to optimize its products, he said it constantly reviews what is going on in the market and stressed on three customer promises.

“All of these elements come with additional trade-offs to be made, and it is a very important part of us staying on the affordable fare path,” Albers said. PTI Ram Anu Anu

featured video of the day

Rupee falls 12 paise to close at 82.82 against US dollar