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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 01/12/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) IndiGo, India's fastest-growing low-cost carrier, will boost its services to Dubai by adding three more Indian cities to its Gulf-India sector within eight weeks.

The airline, which has defied worldwide sluggish aviation growth trends to emerge as the largest domestic sector operator in India within six years after it first took to the skies, will start daily flights to Dubai from Trivandrum, Calicut and Mangalore by early 2013.

It will also launch a second daily Mumbai-Dubai service to increase its total number of weekly flights to the Gulf from 84 to 112.

"As a result, our capacity would increase from 15,120 seats per week to 20,160," IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh told Khaleej Times.

The new capacity boost comes less than three months after the airline, now commanding 27.4 per cent of the market share in India's domestic sector, expanded services to Dubai with daily direct flights from three Indian cities.

In August 2012, the airline launched daily and non-stop flights between Dubai and Hyderabad, Dubai and Chennai, and Dubai and Kochi. Additionally, IndiGo launched its second daily and direct flight between Dubai and Delhi three months ago.

"By the early part of 2013, we will connect all prominent southern India destinations including Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozikode, Trivandrum and Mangalore to Dubai with direct daily services," said Ghosh.

Also on the cards is a plan to increase frequencies to Muscat with daily flights instead of the current four services per week. Jeddah is the next Gulf destination IndiGo is eyeing. At present, the airline operates more than 370 daily flights connecting 33 destinations, including five international.

Ghosh said IndiGo enjoys an 89.2 per cent on-time performance on all flights departing from Dubai and 88.01 per cent for flights arriving in Dubai as of November 15. The airline also boasts the highest on-time performance rate of 96.9 per cent in the domestic sector, he said.

To cope with the rapid route and capacity expansion drive, the airline, which has placed one of the largest orders of Airbus A320 in history, will be taking delivery of one aircraft every five to six weeks. By 2013, Indigo will have an Airbus-only fleet of 71 aircraft, and by 2014, it will have a total of 100 planes in its fold. By 2023, the airline will add another 180 A-320 aircraft, which it ordered in January 2012.

Ghosh said the airline, which has been recording four years of consistent profitability, would continue to stick with its single aircraft model policy for the time being to ensure optimal maintenance efficiency.

The airline, a part of the InterGlobe Enterprises group, which is a leader in aviation and travel related services, also ruled out plans for public offering. "We do not see any compelling reason for an initial public offering," said Ghosh.

He said the new services to Dubai have been designed to give both corporate and leisure travellers an opportunity to experience the impressive on-time performance that IndiGo is synonymous with in the India.

For the Middle East region, IndiGo has launched an Arabic website that is designed for both business and leisure travellers. It displays an international standard Arabic language and offers wider choices to make payments in several regional currencies.


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