Not many new airlines announce themselves by ordering 100 Airbus aircraft worth $6.5 billion, but that’s what Indigo did at the Paris Air Show in June 2005. Parent company Interglobe Enterprises was already well established in the Indian travel services market and it was revealed that former US Airways boss Rakesh Gangwal would also be involved in the airline. Operations began over a year later in August 2006.
On 4 August 2007, Indigo will celebrate its first anniversary having carried over 1.5 million passengers. Today (27 July), its 11th Airbus A320 will be introduced into the Indian domestic market. Within its first five months Indigo had taken a 4% share of the market and this will have grown further still by now.
All of Indigo’s aircraft are brand new aircraft direct from Toulouse giving it one of the youngest fleets of any airline in the world.
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Delhi the main base
An exclusive anna.aero analysis of the airline’s summer schedule from 27 July 2007 shows that 11 aircraft are heavily utilised in operating services.
Of the 11 aircraft six are based in Delhi, two in Mumbai, two in Bangalore and one in Jaipur. Five of the aircraft are in the air each morning before 06:00 with another four airborne by 06:30. Nine of the aircraft do not get ‘home’ before 23:00, thus ensuring impressive utilisation for the A320s, which are each kitted out with 180 seats.
The highest frequency on any route is three flights per day, which is provided between Delhi and Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad and Mumbai and Bangalore. Around 30 routes are offered in total at present, nearly all with at least daily service and flying to 15 different Indian cities.
International and domestic experience in management team
Current CEO is Bruce Ashby who, like Gangwal, was also at US Airways but has also worked for Delta and United. Chief commercial office Steve Harfst is also from the US, while chief commercial office Sanjay Kumar has experience from working for low-cost rival Spicejet. Vice-president of planning and revenue management Amit Khandelwal also has previous Indian LCC experience courtesy of Go Air, but has also worked for United and Pros.
Indigo’s aggressive pricing has already been noticed in anna.aero’s farewatch of the Delhi to Bangalore market.