Wednesday, February 01, 2023

IndiGo's Turkish treat: Wide-body plane, hot meals, blankets on flight

Mumbai: When the IndiGo flight takes off from Delhi for Istanbul on Wednesday, it will usher in many firsts for the airline: its first wide-body aircraft, hot meals for passengers and other amenities such as blankets and pillows for a fee.

IndiGo has leased a twin-class 400-seater Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for the route after the civil aviation ministry relaxed its norms for damp/wet lease of planes.

In a damp lease, a lessor provides aircraft with partial crew to a lessee.

Pilots of Turkish Airlines will operate the Delhi-Istanbul flights, and working on board will be the crew from both airlines.

"Introducing the wide-body aircraft will not only increase the capacity to Istanbul, but also to Europe through codeshare flights with Turkish Airlines,” said Vinay Malhotra, head of global sales, IndiGo, adding “IndiGo is looking forward to offering consumers an even more comfortable and a hassle-free experience with multiple services such as pre-booked Jain meal, veg, or non-veg hot meals according to preference, choice of buying blankets and pillows as well as amenity kits on the flight."

Until now IndiGo has been operating one-stop flights from Mumbai and Delhi to Istanbul with an Airbus A321 aircraft. The Mumbai-Istanbul flight will continue with A321 aircraft for now but will later be replaced with a Boeing 777 aircraft.

The Turkish aircraft leased by IndiGo has 28 business and 372 economy class seats. The business class cabin in the flight will be sold only by Turkish Airlines.

Both the airlines will sell economy class seats under a codeshare agreement. However, the pricing and product will be different. While those booking seats on the IndiGo website will be able to pre-purchase meals such as chicken tikka masala and zafrani pulao, those buying tickets from Turkish Airlines will receive complimentary meals and amenities.

31/01/23 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

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