As per a media report, the Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo’s is expecting its international operations to return to the pre-covid level by the end of 2021.
While many airline executives remain rather gloomy about the near future, IndiGo’s CEO has a different perspective. According to him, the airline’s international operations may be struggling, but the airline could make a full recovery by the end of this year.
He also said that the airline expects to be back to 100% of domestic capacity in 3 months as the company is seeing huge opportunities for growth post-pandemic.
Domestic recovery has been strong, while international recovery has “all the challenges of Covid and testing and quarantine,” he told CNBC on Monday.
“We are struggling at only 28% of our pre-Covid capacity,” he said of international flights. However, domestic operations have reached 80% of pre-pandemic levels.
“I think we should be at 100% of domestic capacity by April at the latest,” Dutta predicted. “International will open slower, but by the end of calendar year 2021, we should be at pre-Covid levels internationally as well.”
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The Airline Is Currently On 28% Capacity Of International Flights
India’s largest airline in passenger numbers is currently only at 28% of its pre-COVID international capacity. However, the airline’s CEO says he anticipates a full recovery “by the end of the calendar year 2021.”
Domestic traffic has made a much stronger return, and IndiGo is at 80% of pre-pandemic levels in terms of capacity. Mr Dutta said he expects a return to 100% of domestic capacity by April at the latest. But IndiGo does not intend to stop there.
“Once the pandemic crisis is behind us, we see lots of opportunity for growth,” Mr Dutta said in the interview seen by Simple Flying. “There is a huge amount of pent-up demand if you will as the economy recovers for more domestic travel.”
The picture internationally is “even brighter,” particularly in the segment of six to seven hours out of India; a circle including Russia, Egypt, Malaysia, and China. Mr Dutta said he was itching to get to 2022 and make use of IndiGo’s upcoming fleet expansion.
“We are very excited about those growth prospects, and as you know, we have a big fleet expansion coming,” he said. “I’m just itching to get to 2022 and [to] keep growing rapidly.”
Currently, however, India has extended its ban on international commercial passenger flights to the end of February. The ban was originally supposed to end on January 31st after a ten-month suspension.