IndiGo Registers Swift Recovery, Reaches 80% of Pre-COVID Capacity

India’s IndiGo has emerged as one of the world’s biggest airlines by capacity, aided by a swift recovery in the domestic aviation market to nearly 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and the financial strength to boost market share as rivals struggle.
The airline is now the world’s seventh biggest by capacity and the largest outside the United States and China, according to data firm OAG. It is a rare bright spot in the battered global aviation industry, providing a lifeline to squeezed lessors and aircraft manufacturers by paying bills on time and in full.
IndiGo took 44 planes from Airbus SE last year – the most of any customer and topping Delta Air Lines Inc and China Southern Airlines Co Ltd – as it replaced older planes with more fuel-efficient newer models. It is also gearing up to expand its fleet further from 2023. With a 52% domestic market share in 2020 versus 47% in 2019, and profitability insight after a loss last fiscal year, IndiGo is expanding its reach to smaller Indian cities such as Ranchi, Patna, and Gorakhpur to replace a fall in business travel on larger routes like New Delhi-Mumbai, CEO Ronojoy Dutta told Reuters.
It is also betting that faster growth and higher margins will come from non-stop flights to international destinations like Moscow, Cairo, and Manila which it can reach with its narrowbody planes, eliminating the need to complicate its fleet with widebody aircraft. “As things stabilize, I’m very optimistic that by the end of 2021, I think we’ll be totally back to normal,” Dutta said, referring to the calendar year rather than the financial year ending March 31.

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