Thursday, August 17, 2023

How Indigo Tweaked Operations To Deliver Consistently For 17 Years And Remain Profitable

On Monday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) released the domestic air traffic data for July 2023. The data showed that for the concerned month, budget carrier IndiGo carried 76.75 lakh passengers, accounting for a market share of a staggering 63.4 per cent. This trend is not new, however. In the first quarter of 2023, IndiGo carried 2.09 crore passengers, accounting for 55.7 per cent of the market share. The April-June quarter saw the low-cost carrier ferry 2.34 crore passengers for a market share of 60.7 per cent. 

In the DGCA’s data accounting for 11 airlines including the struggling and grounded Go First, the airline closest to IndiGo in terms of market share in July was Air India, which carried 11.98 lakh passengers, accounting for 9.9 per cent of the market share. The trend was similar in both the quarters as well, showcasing the massive margin by which IndiGo surpasses its peers while driving the aviation industry in India.

Apart from IndiGo, DGCA included data from Government of India’s SPV AI Assets Holding Ltd-run Alliance Air that primarily serves as a medium for domestic regional connectivity, low-cost carrier Air Asia, full-service, former national carrier Air India, newly launched Akasa Air, currently inoperative Go First, IndiGo’s budget category rival SpiceJet, full-service carrier Vistara, and the lesser know Fly Big, Indiaone Air, and Star Air. 

The important role that IndiGo has played in giving middle-class Indians the ability to fly is undisputed. In fact, this has also led to other carriers having to bring down their own costs and manage operations to cut down on delays. The DGCA data showed that at the four metro airports-Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, IndiGo had the best on-time performance in July at 86.8 per cent, followed by Vistara at 83.6 per cent. 

IndiGo, which started 17 years ago in 2006, followed SpiceJet’s footsteps as a budget airline. However, it quickly made its mark due to its punctuality, which at that point was only associated with high-end, elite carriers. The on-time departures, low number of cancellations and much more affordable prices allowed the Indian middle class to travel by air, breaking the then-existent stereotype of flying being a mode of transportation for just the rich. 

16/08/2023 Bulbul Dhawan/Republicworld

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