Healthy Prospects: IndiGo bullish on festive season, sees demand growth

By Rohit Vaid

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS): Airline major IndiGo is bullish on the upcoming festive season as well as capacity augmentation to potentially reach pre-Covid traffic levels by December 2021.

Besides, the airline believes that economic rebound, weaning impact of Covid 2.0 and accelerated vaccination drive will further complement the traffic growth.

According to Ronojoy Dutta, Wholetime Director and CEO of India's largest airline in terms of market share said: "My hopes for the festive season are very bullish and I think we will have a very good holiday season."

Traditionally, the festive season in India ushers in higher air traffic growth. This year it will commence from October and last till mid-November.

"I project by December we will be back to pre-Covid levels domestically."

"As of now we are still way below pre-Covid numbers. In pre-Covid times, we used to do about 1,500 departures a day. Though it has recovered to 1,100 now, we are still below the pre-Coid level."

In terms of capacity utilisation norms, Dutta said the company is in touch with the Centre to get 100 per cent domestic capacity soon.

"I think, we will get 100 per cent soon and even the permission to re-start international operations."

"By July of next year we should have recovered to pre-Covid levels internationally as well."

At present, the Centre has allowed airlines to deploy limited domestic operational capacity up to 85 per cent.

Furthermore, he said that pent-up demand has now become more sustained and predictable which is expect to drive growth.

"Last year there were no flights for a period, as a result there was a huge pent up demand, but that's slowly petered out."

"Now, I don't think this is pent up demand, but a gradual increase in demand."

On the pandemic's progression, Dutta cited the current conditions are stable but cautioned against an element of uncertainty surrounding new variants.

"If you look around the world, this Delta variant has clearly created a havoc in many countries. In someways, we are ahead of everyone else because we were hit first. So the havoc that they are seeing in other countries, we already experienced that in May. So to some extent, I think it is behind us."

"For now things look reasonably stable."

Currently, the company has a fleet of over 270 aircraft. It operates around 1,100 flights per day connecting 70 domestic and 24 international destinations.



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