India’s budget carrier Indigo Airlines plans to add 20-25 A321 Neos to its fleet this summer as it gears up for international and domestic expansion.
Indigo Airlines chief commercial officer William Boulter said the airline had ordered 125 A321 Neos and 48 deliveries were expected this year. Over 50% of the new destinations could be on international routes, he said.
Boulter, who was speaking with the media after the inaugural run of Indigo’s Delhi-Istanbul flight, said the airline was bullish about flying to China and other international destinations. “We are looking very seriously into other points in Southeast Asia, notably Vietnam and Myanmar. We also are looking at Saudi Arabia on the West side,” he said.
“Over half of our expansion this year will be international and this will take our international capacity from 15% to 20%,” he said. Boulter said the company was hoping to fly to London this year. “We had slots with Gatwick but they expired,” he said. “However, we are looking at Istanbul as an option as well.”
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The airline’s flights to Istanbul are currently operating via Doha due to closure of airspace above Pakistan. “The airline has started a daily operation and will add a second one to it later this month,” he said. The airline has also announced flights from more Indian cities to overseas destinations including China, Vietnam, Myanmar, UK and Saudi Arabia.
Boulter said he was bullish on China and the airline hoped to select flight destinations there soon. According to him, China presents a big opportunity since it has 42 flights into India per week. In contrast, Indian carriers have only 5 flights into China per week. IndiGo is likely to start operations to China in October-November 2019.
Indigo has a codeshare agreement with Turkish airlines and aims to connect to 20 destinations in Europe through this pact.
(Travel for this report was sponsored by Indigo Airlines)