IndiGo set to expand base in State

Low-cost airline IndiGo has set its foot forward to expand its base in the Sunrise State of Andhra Pradesh with its ambitious plan to cover smaller, yet promising markets.

On January 7, IndiGo will be launching five new services from Tirupati – three to Hyderabad and two to Bengaluru, thus connecting the temple city to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Mangalore, Dubai, Singapore, among others, explains its Chief Commercial Officer Sanjeev Kumar.

Speaking to The Hindu on Friday, Mr. Sanjeev said, “On January 9, Rajamahendravaram will be connected to Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru and Vijayawada will get into its network the same month. As Visakhapatnam is already covered, IndiGo will have totally covered Andhra Pradesh by January-end.”

Market share

“The airline has flown 195 million passengers in the last 11 years, with an operational reliability of 99.86%, which is the best in the industry,” he said.

“We are not only the largest domestic airline with a market share of 39.5% but also the fastest growing in the country, with consistently registering profit for the last nine years,” he added.

The airline connects 47 destinations with over 950 daily flights, which will touch 1,000 this month. The airline has taken a decision to procure 50 ATR turbo-prop aircraft by June to supplement the new business.

On the general disinterest being shown by private airlines to move into smaller destinations, notwithstanding the sops announced by the Centre under the UDAN scheme, Mr. Sanjeev Kumar said that business opportunities and the player’s long-term vision for a market would determine one’s presence rather than incentives.

“We have found the regional market growing and hence chipped in, with no reference to UDAN,” he remarked.

Besides a strong fleet, IndiGo also has a sizeable share of women pilots.

“One out of six pilots is a woman. And about 46% of the total workforce are women,” Mr. Sanjeev Kumar claimed.

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