Low cost carrier IndiGo today commenced its regional jets ATR operations, with the maiden flight taking off from Hyderabad to Mangalore. The first flight of the ATR plane took off from the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here this morning to Mangalore, the airline said in a release. By December 2019, IndiGo, with its fleet of brand new 21 ATRs, would have connected about 15 tier-II and tier-III new cities on its network, thereby giving a big boost to regional connectivity, the airline’s president and whole-time director, Aditya Ghosh, said in a statement.
“With more ATRs joining our fleet in the months to come, we are much closer to realising the dream of the common man,” he said. “The IndiGo network will expand not only to provide connectivity between these smaller cities, but our strong network of domestic and international markets will also open up immense connectivity to and fro for these smaller markets,” Ghosh said.
Elaborating on the expansion plan, IndiGo’s chief commercial officer Sanjay Kumar said on January 7 and 9, the airline will be commencing its second and third ATR operations, adding Tirupati and Rajahmundry on the network respectively. He also announced four new domestic flights from Hyderabad, which include an additional Hyderabad–Lucknow– Hyderabad flight, a new Hyderabad–Ranchi–Hyderabad flight, an additional Hyderabad–Jaipur flight and a new Hyderabad–Jammu via Jaipur flight.
IndiGo has placed a term sheet for 50 ATR aircraft. The airline is expecting to add seven ATR flights by March 2018 and 21 ATR planes to its fleet by December 2018, the release said. In October, the airline had announced that it would be strengthening its network in the regional markets with over 90 flights to and fro Tirupati, Rajahmundry, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Madurai, Vijayawada and Nagpur, the release added.