Friday, September 08, 2023

India's IndiGo eyes Amsterdam with A321neo(XLR)s

IndiGo Airlines is mulling services to Amsterdam Schiphol if the incoming A321-200NY(XLR)s can cover the distance in a single flight, according to CEO Pieter Elbers.

Speaking to the Elsevier Weekblad (EW) outlet, Elbers said he wanted to expand existing international codeshare arrangements, including with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam Schiphol). "At a certain point, we have to start thinking about ourselves." The CEO expects the first of sixty-nine A321neo(XLR)s to start arriving in 2025. With a claimed maximum range of 8,700 kilometres, it puts Western European destinations within range of some Indian cities.

"Rome Fiumicino is perfectly feasible from India. Mumbai International - Amsterdam is just not possible. Depending on the final specifications, the XLR will reach Amsterdam from Delhi," he said.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, KLM and Air India (AI, Mumbai International) already fly on the Delhi - Amsterdam city pair using B787-8s and B787-9s. An existing codeshare arrangement with KLM also sees IndiGo pass passengers back and forth at Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore International. Elbers did not say how or whether his possible flights to Amsterdam, which remain far from a sure thing, would impact that codeshare relationship.

IndiGo is India's largest domestic airline but its market share on routes in and out of India is only around 16%, something Elbers is keen to increase. The airline has recently launched flights to new markets in Africa, West Asia and Southeast Asia, and aims to double its international capacity by the end of the decade. The low-cost carrier is also rapidly scaling up its fleet. In June, the airline ordered 500 Airbus A320 family aircraft, extending their aircraft delivery pipeline into the next decade. The A321neo(XLR)s come from an earlier order for three hundred A320N family aircraft signed for in late 2019.

08/09/2023 ch-aviation

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