IndiGo takes UDAN to Tier-II & III cities
Low-cost airline IndiGo is working towards expanding its network in and outside India, while contributing to the community through its various CSR activities.
For IndiGo, 2017 has been a year of growth and expansion, says Sanjay
Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo. “With a growing demand for low-cost air travel, IndiGo continues to translate various opportunities, from enhancing the customer experience to adding capacity and destinations across its route network. We have already started our operations to five new destinations namely, Sharjah, Amritsar, Madurai, Doha and Mangaluru and will be starting operations to Dhaka soon. Also, in line with the UDAN scheme, IndiGo will soon embark on a journey to build a nationwide regional network and connect cities that have not benefitted from the growth in Indian aviation. In 2017 and the years to come, IndiGo will continue to expand to high-demand cities between India and overseas to provide convenient travel options for business and leisure travellers,” he adds.
With the government’s UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, IndiGo is optimistic of growing its network further. “We do see a tremendous amount of growth opportunity in Tier-II and III cities and we think that there are many such opportunities to deploy these planes profitably,” shares Kumar.
IndiGo was one of the first airlines to put a bid for purchasing the national carrier Air India, which is currently considered for disinvestment by the government. In a call with their analyst and promoters, IndiGo has already said that the international operations of Air India would give a much-needed boost to the airline, which majorly operates in the domestic market.
While Kumar did not speak on the Air India deal, he said that they recorded growth last year as well and look at the future with hope. “The year 2016 was another year of growth for IndiGo as we completed 10 years of operations. Having flown over 153 million passengers till December, IndiGo has maintained a consistent growth trajectory in the Indian market
since its inception and 2016 saw various opportunities that the airline translated from enhancing the customer experience to adding capacity to meet the growing demands and also creating employment opportunities. From a fleet size of 124 aircrafts in December 2016, 41 destinations and 883 daily flights, the airline today has 139 Airbus A320 aircrafts, over 900 daily flights, 46 destinations across India and abroad, and has carried over 200 million passengers till date, resonating with IndiGo’s phenomenal growth in the Indian skies. In 2016-17, we have seen a total of seven new destinations (Port Blair, Dehradun Sharjah, Amritsar, Madurai, Doha and Mangaluru)."
For fleet addition, in the quarter ending June 30, 2017, IndiGo signed a term sheet with Avions de Transport Regional G.I.E. (ATR) for the purchase of 50 ATR 72-600 aircrafts with the flexibility to reduce the number of aircraft deliveries based on certain conditions, reveals
Kumar. “This term sheet is subject to reaching a mutually satisfactory final purchase agreement with ATR and the engine manufacturer,” he adds.
Apart from that, IndiGo is making sure to give towards the community as well. “IndiGo is supporting a nationwide 'Rally for Rivers' awareness campaign that started on September 1, 2017. ‘Rally for Rivers’ or 'Nadi Abhiyaan' is a nationwide awareness campaign by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and Isha Foundation. From September 15, the airline promoted specially curated content through e-tickets and water cups on board across its network, till the end of September. This makes IndiGo the first Indian carrier to join the movement, in support to revive the dying rivers of the country.”
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