Starting March 10th, 2020, Gurugram headquartered IndiGo Airlines will increase its Middle Eastern presence with flights to Dammam, Saudi Arabia. As the Indian budget carrier expands its operations, the new flights to Dammam will be the carrier’s third flight to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after Jeddah and Riyadh and its 24th international destination overall.
With the new addition of Dammam, IndiGo will now operate five daily flights between the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kozhikode, and Trivandrum.
Dammam has a population of just over a million people
When speaking about the new India to Saudi Arabia route, IndiGo chief commercial officer William Boulter is quoted by aviation website Business Traveller as saying:
“We are delighted to launch a connection from Delhi to Dammam, strengthening our presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We witness a huge demand for travel between India and Saudi Arabia, on account of commercial opportunities and visiting friends and relatives. As we strive to add more routes and offer flexibility to our customers, these routes will help promote trade and tourism through increased mobility between the two countries.”
The new twice-daily flights, between Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and King Fahd International Airport (DMM) in Dammam, is as follows:
- IndiGo flight number 6E-1223 departing Dammam at 11:15 arriving in Delhi at 17:35
- IndiGo flight number 6E-1224 departing Delhi at 19:10 arriving in Dammam at 21:30
Summer schedule (starting March 29th)
- IndiGo flight number 6E-1224 departing Delhi at 21:40 arriving in Dammam at 23:50
- IndiGo flight number 6E-1223 departing Dammam at 00:35 arriving in Delhi at 07:20
The four hours and 50-minute flight will be operated using one of IndiGo’s Airbus A320 Aircraft.
IndiGo is India’s largest airline
Founded as a private company in 2006 by Rahul Bhatia of InterGlobe Enterprises and American based Indian ex-pat Rakesh Gangwal IndiGo went public in 2015 and is now the largest airline in India.
Focussing on an LCC business model, IndiGo only offers economy class seating to keep prices low and provides food and beverages for sale onboard its aircraft.
The airline currently has orders with Airbus for an additional nine Airbus A320neos, and 13 Airbus A321neos. IndiGo is also expecting a further four ATR 72s to arrive from French aerospace company Aérospatiale and Italian aviation conglomerate Aeritalia according to Planespotters.
Why fly to Dammam?
With flights to Jeddah and Riyadh already operating successfully, adding Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Gulf Province capital of Dammam seems like a logical step.
Currently, only Air India operates non-stop flights between Dammam and Delhi, a route that given Dammam’s population of just over a million people and the large Indian expatriate population should prove profitable.
As we have seen from comparisons between Vistara and Air India operations, the state-backed carrier has its back up against the wall when it has to compete with other carriers.
IndiGo should be able to drastically lower the cost of traveling between Dammam and Delhi, eroding Air India’s operations even further.
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