According to the latest rankings from OAG, India’s favourite low-cost airline, IndiGo has become the world’s 7th biggest airline by capacity.
Without COVID-19, the airline wouldn’t have expected it to be this big. Over the past year or two, IndiGo has expanded its international routes in a way that no other airline from India has done before.
When the airline declared a loss last week, the CEO remained open-minded that once the airline expanded its domestic capacity to 100 percent and started international services, profitability would return.
IndiGo has ordered 332 A320neo aircraft, while the A321neo order is 398 aircraft. Only 30 of the A321neos were delivered.
Moreover, due to the capacity constraints on departures, the airline has made extensive use of its A321neos and opted for the A320neo.
IndiGo has held slots at London Heathrow – the world’s most desirable airport due to its slot restrictions – but has shied away from flying there due to the prohibitive cost of launching a wide-body aircraft and question marks about the sustainability of wide-body operations.
IndiGo went beyond the usual hand-to-hand combat of Gulf operations that Indian airlines have held in the past with narrowbody aircraft. IndiGo expanded far and wide – into China, Turkey, Vietnam – and even offered codeshare services, a phenomenon that is not a regular occurrence with low-cost airlines.
As the Vande Bharat Mission progressed, more and more surprises started tumbling out. With Indians across the world and many destinations hitherto unconnected by any carrier or by an Indian carrier there could be potential in the future.
The secret of where the airline would fly in future could lie in the numbers of the Vande Bharat Mission. The mission, which initially started as a rescue and relief mission for Indians abroad, has since been used to start limited commercial flights under the air-bubble arrangement, with all flights being counted under the same, including charters.
(Source – Money Control)