India's largest domestic carrier IndiGo said it is preparing to expand its reach majorly in the international sector, particularly in Europe and that a codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines and nearly 500 aircraft on order from airplane giant Airbus are part of its expansion plans.
The airline's head of international sales, Vinay Malhotra on Friday told ANI that the partnership with Turkish Airlines will help improve passenger services from India to Istanbul and to Europe.
As per the official, IndiGo has already on order aircraft from French plane maker Airbus. The aircraft manufacturer will ensure steady delivery of aircraft till 2030, he said. "We are currently flying over 300 aircraft and we have nearly 500 more on order. Of course, the expansion depends a lot on the frequency and the timing of when we get the aircraft. But as and when the aircraft arrive, they will be deployed into the domestic market and some overseas," Malhotra told ANI. Malhotra further said the IndiGo is currently flying 1,800 flights a day and 10 per cent of them on international routes.
"Currently IndiGo is flying 1,800 flights a day and 10 per cent of them on international routes. Our current international flights are concentrated around the Indian sub-continent and some other countries around. The farthest we travel is to Turkey and Istanbul.
We have been very keen to fly further and that's why a partnership with Turkish airlines. "There is a codeshare partnership, which allows us to penetrate Europe like never before," he said. Malhotra said that as per the codeshare agreement with the Turkish airlines, IndiGo will be able to carry passengers from India to Istanbul and from Istanbul to beyond. "We are having 27 points in Europe which covers the UK, France, Italy, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, and so many more points.
These points have multiple frequencies with Turkish airlines and with our partnership with them as a codeshare we are able to carry passengers from India to Istanbul and from Istanbul to beyond. Within India too with our 76 online points, we are able to funnel people from all over India into Delhi and Mumbai further to Istanbul and then beyond to Europe," IndiGo's head of international sales said. Without naming Air India, which recently ordered 470 planes, Malhotra said, "Competition is always welcomed.
India has currently approximately 7.3 per cent less than 100 million people who have a passport. As Indian people get a passport the first thing they want to do is fly overseas.
There is huge potential for travellers who are aspiring to travel within India or overseas. So we are in the right place at the right time to take people beyond the borders of India." In a statement on Tuesday, Air India announced that it had signed letters of intent with Airbus and Boeing to acquire 470 passenger aircraft- both widebody and single-aisle aircraft.
IndiGo's Vinay Malhotra further said that in near future IndiGo will launch two new points, one would be Nairobi in Kenya and Jakarta in Indonesia. When asked why people should choose IndiGo to go to Europe and no other airlines, he said, "We are offering the best connectivity to Europe and IndiGo assures people of hassle-free service, on-time performance and affordable fares."
IndiGo also recently wet-leased two wide-body aircraft from Turkish Airlines to operate Istanbul flights. Keeping in view of extending international routes and markets, IndiGo had previously announced that it would operate Mumbai-Istanbul flight and more international routes are under pipeline. B-777 wide aircraft fleet will push IndiGo to expand its international markets.
"This wet lease solution will also enable us to better utilize our A321 narrow-body fleet to continue our network deployment in light of the global supply chain issues," IndiGo said.
In a press statement IndiGo one of the largest airlines in the country for the domestic market with 302 aircraft and 1800 daily flight operations said that it has decided to wet-lease four Boeing 777 aircraft, for the upcoming winter schedule which will be deployed exclusively on international flights.
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