NEW DELHI: IndiGo, India’s leading airline by market share, on Monday said that 50 per cent of its new capacity will be directed towards international markets, with the carrier looking to add new destinations such as China, Vietnam and Turkey, while also increasing flight frequencies on existing routes.
“In the international market, we will be looking at an ambitious expansion with approximately 50 per cent of our new capacity directed at international markets. We will be looking to add new services to countries such as China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, CIS countries and also add frequencies in existing routes,” said IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta in a communication to employees that focuses on the company’s plan for the upcoming financial year.
The carrier, which has more than 200 planes and is expanding aggressively, operates over 1,300 daily flights. While releasing its financial results for the quarter ended December 31, it had said that it currently services 64 destinations, including 15 international cities, and had added one domestic and six international destinations during the quarter.
IndiGo had also entered into a codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines in December, and plans to commence non-stop flights from Delhi to Istanbul from March 20, 2019.
As for the Indian market, it plans to focus on building up infrastructure in smaller cities. “As is evident, in the first phase of our growth, we concentrated on building connectivity between Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. In this next phase of our growth, we will concentrate on building connectivity between Tier 2 to Tier 2 cities and on providing service to Tier 3 cities,” Dutta said.
The CEO, who took charge last month, added that the airline would continue to look for ways to sustain profitability despite negative macro factors. “We’ve had a good track record in terms of profitability, but the industry has run into headwinds recently with higher oil prices, weaker rupee, and industry pricing issues,” he said.
Interglobe Aviation, which operates IndiGo, had reported a 75 per cent year-on-year drop in profit after tax at Rs 190.90 crore for December quarter.
On pilot shortage
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta, in his letter to employees, did not mention the shortage of pilots the airline has been struggling with, but he wrote that IndiGo was “nearly at the end of an operationally difficult” winter.