IndiGo Awards Gold Medal Olympian Free Flights For A Year

As India celebrates its first Olympic gold medal in 12 years, IndiGo is offering the champion its highest honor. The low-cost airline is offering Neeraj Chopra free flights for an entire year to celebrate his victory. Let’s find out more.

IndiGo Airbus A320neo
Within hours of Chopra’s gold medal, IndiGo was rolling out the red carpet for the star athlete. Photo: Getty Images

Humility

As Neeraj Chopra returns to India with sports’ highest honor, he will have one more prize waiting for him: free flights. Hours after bagging Gold in the men’s javelin throw at Tokyo 2020, IndiGo announced that it is honoring the athlete in its own way. For the next one year, Neeraj Chopra will be able to get on any IndiGo flight without any charge.

While IndiGo doesn’t fly to Tokyo (yet), the airline operates flights to scores of domestic destinations and several international cities. From Chopra’s home in Panipat in Haryana, he will have access to many cities around India and the world from two-hour-away Delhi Airport.

Neeraj Chopra Gold Tokyo 2020 IndiGo
Neeraj Chopra’s achievement on Saturday marks India’s first gold medal at Tokyo 2020 and its second-ever individual gold in any sport. Photo: Getty Images

IndiGo’s decision to offer free flights is one of hundreds of prizes Neeraj Chopra has received from a grateful country this weekend. The medal marks only India’s second-ever individual gold medal at the Olympic games, with the first going to shooter Abhinav Bindra at Beijing 2008.

In a statement about the decision, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said,

Neeraj we were all overjoyed to hear about your remarkable achievement. You have made the country proud, and I know all IndiGo employees would be truly honored to welcome you onboard one of our flights. With all humility we would like to offer you free flights on IndiGo for a year…You have shown us what hard work, resilience and passion can achieve and I am sure you will be a torch bearer for future Indian athletes. Well done, Neeraj.

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Big business

For airlines globally, the Olympics are usually big business. From millions of international tourists pouring into the games to domestic flights, airlines can see major revenue bumps from the two-week-long event. In particular, the home airlines, in this case, Japan Airlines and ANA, are usually the busiest, ferrying in travelers globally and picking up atheletes.

However, as with everything during the pandemic, Tokyo 2020 has been a very different games. Japan banned international spectators early on, hurting carriers, and later decided to limit domestic viewers to just a handful. This meant ANA and JAL were also left with just a small fraction of demand compared to expectations.

Tokyo Getty
While JAL and ANA had long prepared for the Olympics, 2020 wiped all plans away and set the airlines back heavily. Photo: Getty Images

While airlines have increased services to Tokyo, it is a far cry from the 40 million tourists the games were set to attract. For now, enthusiasts around the world will remain glued to their TV screens to watch and celebrate their favorite athletes win at the Olympics.

What do you think about IndiGo’s offer of free flights? Let us know in the comments!

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