Low-cost Indian airline IndiGo is now operating 1,500 domestic flights per day. Just twelve months ago, the airline was chuffed to have 1,000 domestic flights per day. But the airline says this new benchmark is just business as usual and the growth is in line with its projected expansion capacity.
1500 flights a day – or one departure every minute
According to a report in cnbctv18.com, the airline hit the 1,500 domestic flights per day figure earlier this month. It now has a departure approximately every one minute. In a statement, IndiGo’s chief executive officer, Ronojoy Dutta said;
“We are pleased to be the first Indian airline to touch 1,500 daily departures, with one flight taking off every minute.
“2019 has been an eventful year with many new partnerships, orders and milestones. We are optimistic about 2020, and our endeavor will be to build focus cities and traffic corridors that connect India to the world.”
IndiGo has only been operating for 13 years. With the demise of Jet Airways, it is now the biggest airline in India in terms of fleet size and passenger numbers. It now has 249 planes (the majority being from the A320 family) and carried over 64 million passengers in the last financial year.
For much of the last decade, IndiGo has been expanding at a decent clip. And like many Indian airlines, it is now picking up Jet Airways passengers and mopping up growth opportunities from its collapse.
A rapid but planned expansion strategy
IndiGo flies to 60 domestic and 23 international destinations. In 2019 alone, it expanded to 11 new domestic and eight new international destinations. It is a rapid expansion (22% according to Indigo) rate but Ronojoy Dutta says it is all in line with IndiGo’s expansion strategy.
Mr Dutta went on to say;
“The simple philosophy of offering low fares and on-time, courteous, hassle-free service has been the foundation of IndiGo’s growth and unparalleled network in India… We are on a mission to promote trade, tourism and economic growth by increasing mobility and accessibility across the length and breadth of the country
Whilst IndiGo launched new international flights to Istanbul, Jeddah, Chengdu, Yangon, Hanoi, Riyadh, Ho Chi Minh City and Guangzhou, it was a raft of new domestic destinations that drove growth in flight numbers at the airline.
Indigo commenced domestic operations to Shillong, Gaya (from both Kolkata and Varanasi), Jodphur, Belgaum, Silchar (from Kolkata), Shirdi and Mysore. Also, Indigo started a swathe of domestic flights from the new Kannur Airport to Bengaluru, Kochi, Goa, Hubli, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.
It doesn’t look the airline shows any signs of slowing down either. It has over 600 aircraft on order, primarily from the A320 family. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, IndiGo incurred a loss in the 2018/19 financial year.
Are you a regular passenger on IndiGo? Think they are pushing ahead too hard, too fast? Post a comment and let us know.