Aviation

IndiGo takes fresh stab at London Heathrow, but faces poor overseas record and more competition

BY moneycontrol

IndiGo, India’s largest airline by fleet and domestic market share, has secured slots at London Heathrow. The airline intends to operate daily services to London Heathrow from Mumbai and New Delhi effective mid-January, going by the details released by ACL, the slot co-ordinator of London Heathrow and many other airports such as Manchester, Birmingham and Dubai.

IndiGo has long coveted slots at London Heathrow—one of the world’s most sought after and busiest airports—and has finally succeeded. The airline had obtained slots at London Gatwick but never started operations. IndiGo has been candid about operations to London Heathrow; both its CEO and CCO have spoken at lenghth about its ambitions and challenges in the past.

In the initial co-ordination exercise concerning slot allocation, neither IndiGo nor Spicejet had requested for slots at London Heathrow. But things have turned topsy-turvy for aviation since March with the COVID-19 pandemic almost grounding the entire passenger traffic. Airlines were mostly grounded and a few focused primarily on cargo to stay aloft.

Love for UK is not new

IndiGo has made no secret about its ambitions in the United Kingdom market. For the last five seasons, the airline has been filing for slots and routes across the UK.

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