IndiGo Sees Huge Potential For International Expansion

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During IndiGo’s fourth-quarter/the fiscal year-end earnings call, airline CEO Ronojoy Dutta provided investors with some insight into the airline’s performance and his outlook for the future. A year from now, or even further down the road, the airline chief thinks that there may be potential for international expansion—an exciting prospect for India’s largest airline.

A320 IndiGo aircraft
IndiGo is India’s largest airline with a fleet of 255 aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

“I think there’s a structure within the international which will work to the benefit of Indian carriers in general. There have been too many foreign hubs all around India with a lot of connecting traffic. Long term, and I’m not talking three or four months but more than a year ahead, we think there will be more opportunities for us to expand internationally.” -Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, IndiGo Airlines

Recovery first, opportunities later

During the call, Dutta went over the financials released, covering results for Q4 as well as fiscal year 2019/20. Overall, the report for the year paints a fairly nice picture due to the airline’s phenomenal growth all the way up to the pandemic. As the fiscal year ended March 31st, some impressive numbers were put up, including a 25% increase in total income compared to the previous year. Of course, with April lockdowns hitting all of India hard, we’re expecting to see a pretty bleak quarterly report a few months from now.

Dutta went on to say that international operations were a sector in which the airline performed well. In fact, international operations performed better than domestic, right through December, also performing well in January. IndiGo‘s website shows 24 international destinations, and, from what we’ve seen in recent months, the airline has established itself as a solid connector between India and the Gulf countries.

 

IndiGo will have to first focus on rebuilding its domestic operations before pursuing international opportunities. Photo: Getty Images

 

However, Dutta admits that for the time being, recovery means focusing on domestic operations:

When we look at what’s going to recover quickly and what’s going to recover slowly, clearly domestic will recover fast; international will recover slowly. Our hope is, of course, that … other countries can agree on their quarantines and not have passengers stuck in some distant land.

International possibilities

With that being said, IndiGo is very anxious to start international services once again. Dutta is sure that international services will once again be a strong revenue generator for the airline. All that stands in the way, for now, are travel restrictions and, of course, the yet-to-be-controlled COVID-19 situation within the country.

 

GoAir
A GoAir flight was delayed after pigeons entered the aircraft. Photo: Airbus

Unfortunately, the new number of coronavirus cases per day continues to climb. While part of this can be attributed to increased testing; testing only serves to paint a clearer picture of the current situation. Besides, it is only when tests continue to take place, and we see numbers go down at the same time that true progress will be made.

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Dutta anticipates that international services will probably pick up six months and beyond, although he admits he was ‘making up this number.’

What international destinations would you like to see IndiGo fly to one day? Let us know in the comments.

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