IndiGo Grows Domestic Network As India Rebounds

As air travel in India continues to be on an upward trajectory, the country’s largest no-frills airline, IndiGo, has expanded its domestic connectivity in November with 12 new flights. The latest connections cover all four corners of the country and respond to an uptick in travel demand from tier 2 and 3 cities in India.

IndiGo A320neo getty
India’s largest airline IndiGo has announced 12 new connections in November. Photo: Getty Images

New connections

India’s leading airline IndiGo has announced new routes in November, further strengthening its hold on the country’s domestic market. The carrier added 12 new flights to its network within the country, bolstering connectivity across all regions in India.

IndiGo started operating twice-weekly flights between Ahmedabad and Jodhpur from November 1st and added four more city pairs the next day. November 2nd saw connections between Bengaluru and Rajkot, Kolkata and Coimbatore, Delhi and Trivandrum, and Dibrugarh and Dimapur. A sixth connection between Ahmedabad and Ranchi will commence from November 10th.

IndiGo A320neo
The new routes touch all four corners of the country, consolidating the carrier’s domestic network. Photo: Getty Images

Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer of IndiGo, issued a statement, saying,

“…These routes will enhance connectivity between northern, eastern, north-eastern, western, and southern regions, promoting trade and commerce. We will continue to offer new routes as per the travel demand across various sectors.”

According to the statement issued by the carrier, these networks will cater to both business and leisure travelers as demand for air travel between the metros and tier 2 and 3 cities looks promising.

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Looking ahead

These new routes signify the growing importance of regional connectivity in India. While major trunk routes such as Delhi-Mumbai and Bengaluru-Delhi remain perennial cash cows for Indian carriers, there has been a growing appetite for air travel from smaller cities and towns.

The Indian government, too, is doing its bit with the UDAN scheme, which incentivizes regional flights and focuses on developing airports across many underserved locations. With flights to smaller cities in states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and Assam, the number of people flying from these places has risen significantly.

The new routes by IndiGo come close on the heels of the carrier announcing its quarterly results for Q2 of 2021. The airline reported a net loss of ₹1,457 crores ($194.3mn) but a two-fold increase in revenue compared to last year at ₹5,608.5 crores ($748mn).

IndiGo Airbus A320-200
IndiGo anticipates competition from TATA-owned Air India but is still nowhere close to being dethroned as India’s no. 1 carrier. Photo: Getty Images

IndiGo seems to be gearing up for future growth as air traffic picks up after a COVID-induced lull. The airline continues to enjoy a comfortable lead over all other carriers in the country, but it’s also aware of the upcoming changes in the Indian aviation sector.

At a CAPA event last month, IndiGo’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta acknowledged that TATA’s takeover of Air India poses formidable competition in the future. But the airline seems to be marching ahead to maintain its lead.

IndiGo is looking to expand its technical staff and has invited applications from fresh engineering graduates to work as trainees in its fleet management and maintenance department. This is definitely a breath of fresh air in an industry that has seen massive job losses in the last couple of years.

Are you excited about IndiGo’s new routes? Have you benefitted from the growing regional air connectivity in India? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.