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IndiGo's decision to restart these flights has come at a time when Air India, under the Tata Group, is leasing 30 planes to boost its domestic and international operations significantly.
Amid China's stringent Covid-19 policies and its border dispute with India, there are currently no flights operating between the two countries.
IndiGo, which is India's largest carrier, currently operates 1,092 international flights per week between India and 22 foreign cities, according to aviation analytics company Cirium.
IndiGo used to operate daily flights on the Delhi-Chengdu, Kolkata-Guangzhou and Kolkata-Yangon routes till early 2020. The airline had stopped operating them on March 23, 2020, when the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had suspended all scheduled international flights due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
India resumed scheduled international flights on March 27 this year.
IndiGo executives, who did not wish to be named, said the flights on the Delhi-Chengdu, Kolkata-Guangzhou and Kolkata-Yangon routes will resume from March next year as demand for these services has finally returned.
The airline has already started selling tickets for these flights on its website and on online travel portals like MakeMyTrip, as observed by this newspaper on Friday morning.
However, IndiGo spokesperson responded to Business Standard's questions on Friday afternoon stating that the airline is "hopeful" of restarting flights to China and Myanmar "as soon as we can".
"We continue to monitor ongoing demand conditions and ongoing restrictions for air travel and will take a decision on the date of operations on a rolling basis,” the spokesperson added.
Flights on the Delhi-Chengdu, Kolkata-Guangzhou and Kolkata-Yangon routes take approximately 285 minutes, 225 minutes and 115 minutes, respectively. Therefore, IndiGo is planning to deploy A320neo planes on these routes as before, the airline’s executives said.
IndiGo currently commands around 60 per cent share of the domestic passenger market. With the revamped Jet Airways planning to restart operations and new entrant Akasa Air adding one new aircraft every two weeks, competition on domestic routes is only going to increase. So, IndiGo believes that its next phase of growth is primarily going to come from international expansion.
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First Published: Fri, November 04 2022. 12:06 IST