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IndiGo plans to expand globally

Bullish over increased market share, Indigo Airlines has geared up to expand its international operations. “We have noticed a growing demand for the Dubai and Muscat routes and we might plan on increasing the frequency. Currently we have applied for more international routes and are awaiting regulatory approval but we will try to increase frequencies on existing international routes, ” Aditya Ghosh, President, IndiGo Airlines, said on the sidelines of a recently concluded aviation seminar organised by CAPA.

The move is encouraged by a gradual growth in passenger numbers as well profits generated. “IndiGo is the only airline which made profits in the last few years when most other Indian carriers were in the red. Keeping internal costs low and running an efficient airline will allow us to remain profitable and yet provide low fares consistently,”he added. To support its expansion, the carrier has consistently been receiving aircraft from Airbus. “By the end of this financial year, Indigo is expected to have 64 aircraft in its fleet. Indigo has a fleet of 60 aircraft and would add one more by the end of 2012 and three more by March 2013,” he said.

Commenting on the increase in airfare, Ghosh revealed, “Fares have been high this fiscal, largely due to high fuel prices last year when airfares remained at the same level. Moreover, margins are also under pressure due to increased operational costs. Price increase will be determined more by fuel charges and airport charges. I don't think there is anything else which determines prices. But I don't expect a sudden spike going forward,” he opined.

According to him, passenger traffic has declined in the past few months in line with the slump in seat capacity on domestic routes. “Just like several other carriers, we have allocated 12-13 percent of our total capacity on international routes,” he added.

Ghosh believes that the new FDI policy passed by the government is a blessing in disguise for many carriers in the country. “We personally are not looking for investors, neither foreign nor domestic, but other ailing airlines will surely benefit from it to an extent. But I don’t know whether foreign investment will itself be the solution to all the problems the Indian aviation is facing. Foreign investment can bring in money, but how that money will be utilised is a different issue,” he said.

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