IndiGo looks for non-stop high flights amid rising demandtext_fields
Mumbai: The post-pandemic age saw air travellers largely preferring non-stop flights, and as the trend is to stay, the airline company IndiGo aims to cash in on it by expanding such flights into international markets, CEO Ronojoy Dutta told The Indian Express in an interview.
Dutta said that passengers from many countries are not able to come to India non-stop. If it is from Nairobi or Dusseldorf, they have to stop at Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai etc., and if the flight is from Bali or Manila, passengers should stop at Singapore or Bangkok. So, the airline is thinking about making these connections non-stop, which is positive from both customers' and competitors' perspectives.
Before the pandemic, there were issues of 'one-stop' vs non-stop flights, and people never paid the premium for such flights. However, it has changed, Dutta said, citing how airlines such as United and American schedules non-stop flights.
Dutta further said that their airline has plans to expand internationally as well as domestically. Before Covid-19, their capacity of international flights was 25 per cent, and it is to reach 30-40 per cent in 5 to 6 years. They have plans for new international markets like Moscow, Tel Aviv, Milan, Nairobi and Bali.
When asked about charter flights during Covid-19 and any plans to expand the service, he said it came as a surprise during the pandemic. The company did not expect a flourish in charter flights suddenly. They have chartered flights for religious groups in Nairobi, students to Tashkent, shipping companies, and weddings after the Covid outbreak. He thinks charter flights are also going to stay, and IndiGo sees it as a permanent revenue stream.
Regarding the disinvestment of Air India, he said that it was a positive move for the country, aviation industry, and IndiGo. Having a competitor not driven by fundamental economics while having taxpayer support was not healthy for them. Air India also had a lot of unfair advantages, such as first preferences, he added.