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IndiGo’s 100 million passengers also underscores the massive potential of the Indian aviation sector. No wonder airlines are keen to tap into it.

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Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo became the first Indian airline to transport 100 million passengers in a year. Celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, IndiGo has become one of the world’s largest airlines by passenger traffic.

Passenger Traffic Overview: In 2022, IndiGo had 78 million passengers on board, slightly surpassing its pre-Covid levels. In 2023, the carrier witnessed a substantial 22% increase in passenger traffic.

IndiGo has also become the first airline in India to operate more than 2,000 flights a day. Currently, the Indian carrier serves 118 destinations, including 32 international destinations. Over the past six months, IndiGo has added more than 20 international routes to its schedule. 

Pieter Elbers, Indigo CEO, attributed the milestone to customer trust and the dedication of IndiGo colleagues. He emphasized the “validation of their strategy and the pride in connecting people and aspirations for the past 17 years”. (Elbers will be at Skift India Summit in Delhi this March. Learn more.)

Growth Strategy and Future Plans: In 2022, IndiGo initiated a growth strategy under three strategic pillars: ‘Reassure, Develop, and Create.’ This strategy aims to support the airline’s growth plans, with a goal to double in size and scale by the end of the decade. To achieve this, IndiGo placed an order for 500 new aircraft with Airbus, in addition to the existing 450+ aircraft order.

In other news…

Another low-cost carrier SpiceJet has officially confirmed its intent to bid for bankrupt airline Go First. The airline said, the goal is to “create a strong and viable airline in a possible combination with SpiceJet.”

DreamFolks Launches Membership Program

DreamFolks, India’s airport services aggregator, has announced the launch of its membership program – The DreamFolks Club. The club offers a range of membership packages designed to cater to various travel and lifestyle needs.

The DreamFolks Club offers four card variants: Aspire, Premium, Select and Elite.

As India’s leading airport experience disruptors, we are now extending premium travel and lifestyle services to a wider range of customers,” said Liberatha Kallat, chief managing director of DreamFolks. 

Recently, DreamFolks partnered with Grey Wall, a significant airport and lounge service aggregator in Russia. Through this collaboration, DreamFolks and Grey Wall aim to improve the travel experience for passengers crossing borders. DreamFolks’ clients and their end consumers will now have access to Grey Wall’s extensive network of lounges and services in Russia. 

It also launched its initial public offering (IPO)  in India on August 24

IHG Inks Pact for New Holiday Inn Resort in Maharashtra

IHG has announced the signing of a management agreement with XECO Media to bring a new Holiday Inn Resort to the city of Karjat in Maharashtra. 

Set to open in 2027, the resort will add 150 keys to IHG’s portfolio in the state.

IHG presently operates 45 hotels across five brands in India. The brands include Six Senses, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Resort, and Holiday Inn Express. Additionally, there is a pipeline of 45 hotels scheduled to open in the next 3-5 years, indicating a robust expansion strategy in the region.

As reported by Skift earlier, IHG is one of the largest hotel groups in the world by number of rooms, along with competitors like Marriott and Accor. It has about 5,656 hotels globally — 842,759 rooms. The vast majority of its hotels are franchises.

There are 17 IHG brands overall (18 when you count IHG’s pact with Iberostar), spanning from midscale to luxury. The midscale Holiday Inn Express is by far its biggest, making up nearly half of its hotels worldwide. Meanwhile InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is its largest luxury brand with a total of 204 hotels, and Crowne Plaza its largest upscale brand, with a total of 427 hotels.

Hyderabad Most Booked Destination in 2023 for Oyo 

As the year concludes, hospitality technology company Oyo has released its annual travel trends index, Travelopedia 2023, which unveils that Hyderabad was the the most booked city, followed by Bengaluru, Delhi, and Kolkata.

Most Booked Cities: Hyderabad leads as the most booked city, followed by Bengaluru, Delhi, and Kolkata.

Most Booked State: Uttar Pradesh tops the list as the most booked state, followed by Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

Smaller Towns: Smaller towns like Gorakhpur, Digha, Warangal, and Guntur experienced the highest year-on-year growth in bookings compared to 2022.

Peak Booking Periods:

  • September 30 stands out as the most booked day of the year.
  • May claims the title for the month with the highest bookings.
  • The period from September 30 to October 2 recorded the highest bookings among all long weekends in the year.

Leisure and Business Cities: Jaipur leads as the most visited leisure city, with Goa, Mysore, and Pondicherry following suit. 

Spiritual and Pilgrimage Destinations:

  • Puri secures the top spot as the most booked spiritual and pilgrimage destination, followed by Amritsar, Varanasi, and Haridwar.
  • Lesser-known spiritual destinations like Deoghar, Palani, and Govardhan witnessed significant growth in visitors compared to 2022.

Skyscanner’s Insights on How India Traveled in 2023

Dubai, and Bangkok emerged as the most popular holiday destinations for Indian travelers in 2023, according to Skyscanner data. March stood out as the preferred month for travel among Indian travelers during the year, revealed the data 2023.

Affordable Domestic Destination: Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh was the most budget-friendly flight destination, with return flights priced at just INR 3,035 on an average in 2023.

Most Affordable International Destinations: Skyscanner identified Nha Trang in Vietnam as the most affordable city for a three-star hotel stay for Indian travelers. Doha in Qatar takes the lead as the city with the cheapest car rental, with Indian travelers paying only INR 2,198/day on an average.

Gujarat Government Inks Tourism Agreements Worth $950 Million

The Gujarat Government inked 10 memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the intention to invest INR 7.7 billion ($950 million) for the development of tourism in the state, including establishment of a four-star resort, an entertainment zone and a cultural theme park. 

For the four-star resort, an MoU of INR 1.45 billion ($17.5 million) was signed. The agreement for the entertainment zone was worth INR 4 billion while the MoU for a cultural theme park was worth INR 2.3 billion

With the signing of the first MoU, the government aims to provide employment to more than 450 people from the local tribe. The entertainment zone, when finalized, would provide employment to over 2,500 locals of Kutch and Gir Somnath, the state has said. Another construction of entertainment zone and a cultural theme park will provide employment to 1,100 people, government officials said.


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Tags: airbus, ihg, indigo airlines, oyo, skyscanner, theme parks

Photo credit: IndiGo becomes first Indian airline to transport 100 million passengers in a year. Nadir Hashmi / Indigo Nation

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