Cruising Heights
IndiGo Airline Aviation Image Credit: Cruising Heights
IndiGo Airline Aviation Image Credit: Cruising Heights

West Or East? Indigo Knows Best

Ambitious to fly international big time, home-grown IndiGo has the wherewithal, the equipment and the expertise. But as Ameya Joshi points out, the foreign forays will not be as easy as IndiGo’s domestic moves. Its first flight to Istanbul and the codeshare with Turkish Airlines would not only be a test case for the carrier but will be closely watched by the competition.

Ameya Joshi

Kingfisher was still puffing and trying to battle it out when IndiGo completed its mandatory five years before announcing its international routes in 2011. The airline, then with a reputation of not closing a route, had to drop some of its first international routes: Delhi-Singapore, Mumbai-Singapore, Delhi- Bangkok, and Mumbai-Bangkok.

IndiGo was up against challenges from the word “Go” for its international foray – compared to domestic, where its induction strategy was relatively well laid out. The first bottleneck that the airline got into was the terminal. The airline was working with Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to convert a portion of Terminal 1D to international. While DIAL had started work on the conversion, the security agencies objected, and IndiGo had to shift its International operations to Terminal 3, leading to a division of staff and limitations on the rotation of aircraft. The initial euphoria around the international services died down with the airline deciding to pull out of the Mumbai-Singapore and the Delhi-Singapore market by March 2013, having operated two winters and one summer schedule. This was seemingly due to higher competition and costs than what the airline had projected. The airline instead continued operations to Singapore from Chennai and Bangkok from Kolkata.

Eight years is a long time. The market saw the demise of Kingfisher Airlines and a near-death for SpiceJet along with the recent suspension

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