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Source: Khaleej Times
By Issac John
India’s fast-growing low-cost carrier IndiGo has announced the launch of five new daily direct flights connecting Dubai and Bangkok with Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Delhi from August.
The airline said it would launch three new non-stop flights to Dubai from Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi while one additional daily direct from Delhi. It will also begin a new flight on the Delhi-Bangkok sector.
The tickets for these new sectors and the services would be operational in two months, IndiGo said in a statement. Recently, the carrier announced its new international flights from Delhi to Muscat and Kathmandu, Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok, as well as Mumbai to Bangkok and Dubai.
IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said the expansion of services was in line with “our endeavour to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers. We hope to provide the much needed avenue for countless Indians to explore wider horizons and at the same time open up the doors to more and more overseas travellers to experience India.”
IndiGo has already opened ticket bookings on its Dubai route. “Dubai is a key market for us and expanding operations in this market is in line with our growth strategy outlined for the Middle Eastern skies,” he said.
The airline is India’s second largest carrier with a market share of 24.9 per cent as of May 2012, as well as the country’s largest low-fare carrier.
IndiGo will be offering an introductory return fare of Dh734 on all new flights. “Passengers who wish to fly to India can plan their travel in advance by booking tickets through IndiGo’s official website: www.goindigo.in,” the airlines said in a statement.
The carrier said the new flights underlines the airline’s expansion plan in the Dubai market.
“These flights from Dubai will fly out from Dubai International Airport, with convenient and hassle-free flying options. Both corporate and leisure travellers will now have the opportunity to experience the matchless on-time performance that IndiGo is synonymous with in the Indian skies,” it said. Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh recently said all scheduled Indian airlines except IndiGo are incurring losses, based on returns filed by airlines with the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation.
Singh noted the industry has reported Rs260 billion of operational losses in the 2007-10 period, with a Rs100 billion loss anticipated in 2011-12. The spiralling cost of aviation fuel, global economic slowdown, low yields due to intense competition and the consequent widening gap between revenue and expenses have contributed greatly to losses, he said.
Industry analysts said despite entering the market less than six years ago, IndiGo has rapidly scaled the ranks to become the second largest domestic carrier, overtaking Air India and Kingfisher Airlines. IndiGo has overtaken more well-established carriers that have expanded not only organically but through acquisitions and with a mixed-product that offers both full service and low-cost products.