India’s largest airline (in terms of both aircraft numbers and passenger carried) IndiGo has recently inducted a Boeing 777 in its fleet. The B777 aircraft landed in New Delhi on May 28, 2023 wearing the airline’s white and blue livery.
The airline proudly announced “Big plane, big plans” via its social media channels.
The move is surprising in one respect, considering the airlines policy of having same type of aircraft to reduce the fleet maintenance and operations cost.
This long haul aircraft is on wet lease from Turkish airline and will operate flights to Istanbul only from Delhi, India.
Rumours of Airbus order
Though there have been rumours of IndiGo planning to place a massive order for Airbus A330neo aircraft, nothing is official yet and the firm announcement is rumoured to be made at the Paris Airshow next month.
As for the arrival of the new Boeing 777, virtually every avgeek in the country was waiting outside the airport in an attempt to spot the first wide body aircraft in Indigo’s livery.
IndiGo has been long known to maintain a single type of aircraft, such as the A320 series family, and the airline started operating with the decision to stick to narrow body aircraft as well as single family types.
But there was a fallout between the founders of the airline which was later amicably settled, and the airline then started to look at wide body aircraft fire a particular partner Rajoo with Turkish Airlines.
Turkish Airlines had been looking to tap into the Indian market and with the bilateral rights already exhausted by them, they saw this as an golden opportunity to partner with India’s biggest low-cost airline.
The partnering helps Indigo get wider reach to many international destinations via a codeshare with Turkish Airlines and vice-versa, it works to the Turkish carriers benefit as well.
Indigo recently posted a strong net profit of Rs.919.2 Crore, which was way better than the market analysts expected.
After reporting profit, the airline decided to give a 3% increment to all its employees for their continued support and helping the airline achieve new heights.
The airline used to give bonuses to all its employees even before profit was achieved, but the practice was stopped in FY2020 due to the pandemic and was never restored until now.
With Go First suspending its operation for the time being, IndiGo has been banking on the opportunity!
With airfares skyrocketing in the country in many sectors, the cost of one-way tickets is becoming equivalent to a return international flight.
And addition of the relatively economical Boeing 777 will only boost the revenue for the airline. If IndiGo decides to order new widebody aircraft for itself, then this would put it into direct competition with the only other airline in India (considering Vistara and Air India as one entity) – namely Air India.
Already both these airlines are going head-on in domestic as well as some international sectors, and the addition of a wide-body fleet will enable IndiGo to fly further long-haul sectors and compete with both Air India and other international carriers.
Indigo is currently known for its competitive pricing, so it will be interesting to see how it all develops from here.