IndiGo sprang a surprise earlier this month when it announced seven new stations, all in smaller cities, including Leh, Darbhanga, and Agra. Some of the destinations, including Kurnool and Bareilly, will be connected by air for the first time.
For an airline that has never followed the herd, the announcement and the timing led to many a discussion in the industry. “IndiGo is known to take its time to make doubly sure of a route. There have been instances where it has taken slots at airports but has waited to start services until it’s 100 percent sure of the route,” says Nripendra Singh, Industry Principal, Aerospace, Defense & Security Practice, Frost & Sullivan.
Interestingly, this time though, the country’s largest airline is yet to get regulatory approval or slots for these destinations. As Singh points, IndiGo is looking at the future and ensuring that as traffic builds in these tier 2 and 3 cities, it doesn’t have problems in getting slots in these small airports.
Competition is not very far. IndiGo will directly square off with SpiceJet in Darbhanga and will compete with all or some of the other peers such as Vistara, Air India, and GoAir, on routes like Leh and Rajkot.