Saturday, February 08, 2020

East expansion on hold, airline heads to Gulf

Kolkata: Forced to defer its expansion plans to the east following the coronavirus outbreak in China, IndiGo Airlines is set to start daily flights from Kolkata to Dubai from February 16. The airline is also evaluating other destinations in the Gulf, including Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Jeddah and Dammam. It had also planned a daily flight to Doha from March 1, but that has been put on hold for now.
The IndiGo flight to Dubai will make it the second-best connected international destination from Kolkata after Bangkok. It is the third carrier to operate in the sector — Emirates currently operates 11 flights a week while Air India has four.

With IndiGo, the sector will now have 22 flights a week. On Sundays and Fridays, passengers have a choice of four flights. On four days, there are three flights and on Mondays, there are two flights in the sector.

IndiGo has suspended its flights to Guangzhou and Hong Kong from Kolkata and delayed plans to start services to Beijing and Shanghai following the coronavirus outbreak. “China was a major growth area, but given the current situation, we are looking at other geographies and will return to the east once the situation improves,” an official said.
Sources in the airline said the Gulf region apart, the airline was also exploring opportunities in Cambodia, where both capital Phnom Penh and heritage town Siem Reap were under consideration. At present, the airline flies to neighbouring Vietnam with connections to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
08/02/20 Times of India
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