Rise in demand from Tier 2/3 cities
Focussed on providing extensive regional connectivity, Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, IndiGo Airlines, foresees aviation demand to go up pre-Covid levels soon.
How are you moving towards the goal of upgrading customer experience?
We have recently announced the three-point disembarkation system on our 16th anniversary. This will reduce the waiting time for passengers during de-boarding and improve OTP and operational efficiencies for IndiGo as well as our partners. Last month, Recaro Aircraft Seating (Recaro) BL3710 was selected to outfit IndiGo's brand-new A320neo and A321neo aircraft. We will be the first to feature the bestselling economy class seat in the Indian sub-continent. The BL3710 economy class seat will be installed on 75 Airbus aircraft starting from January 2023.
When we talk about luxury offerings by international airlines, how do you see homegrown carriers faring in comparison?
In India, only 7 per cent of the population travels by air. There is a huge potential for more people to experience air travel. Given that India is a value conscious market, we have been focussed on providing extensive regional connectivity at affordable fares.
How are you revamping your in-flight menus to attract business travellers?
IndiGo's customers can prebook their choice of meal until 24 hours in advance, as per taste and medical conditions from the exclusive menu.
As we connect with new destinations, we will look at expanding our menu to add on an interesting selection of items from every new destination.
What kind of support are you providing to air ticket and tour operators?
We continue to expand our distribution with travel companies, tour operators and travel partners in order to provide our flight tickets being available across various segments of the market. We have also partnered with large tour operators for offering bundled packages. We are working with our partners for MICE requirements, which we feel will continue to grow in the coming times. We do foresee an overall rise in demand at the onset of the festive season.
For MICE bookings, do you offer any discount or complementary services?
We provide a personalised and private experience through our passenger charter services. The passengers can apply via our website or directly call our sales teams for charter bookings. The passengers just need to fill a form detailing their destination, arrival point, travel time, names, address, and other details. Currently, we are using a typical A-320 aircraft with 180-186 passengers seating, which can be commissioned as a domestic passenger charter as well, A321 with 222 passenger seating and ATR with 78 passenger seating.
WE RECENTLY UPGRADED TO AIRBUS ON THE DELHI-GWALIOR ROUTE
What are your expansion plans?
The Indian aviation sector has noticed an increase in travel demand from and between Tier II and Tier III cities. We have seen 100 per cent recovery in business travel in the months of April & May. We are currently operating more than 1600 flights per day, compared to 1500 daily flights in February 2020. We recently announced Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE as the 100th destination in our 6E network. We recently upgraded our aircraft from ATR to Airbus on the Delhi-Gwalior route to cater to the increase in travel demand.