Market Trends

The travel landscape is always evolving. We constantly see changes happening in anticipation of or in response to consumer behavior or market trends. One of the recent trends has been that of the low cost carriers entering the European market. Last month, JetBlue also announced their entry into the European market with the launch of their flights to London. Another low cost carrier has announced its ambitious plans to enter the European market.

New Entrant

Skift reported yesterday that India’s low cost carrier Indigo is also planning an entry into the European market. Last week, Skift reported about some of the initial signals that Indigo was looking to expand.

Airplane Fleet

IndiGo is in talks with Airbus SE for another large plane order in a sign Asia’s biggest budget carrier has no intention of letting up on a blistering pace of expansion.

The Indian airline, which adds an aircraft to its fleet every week, is in discussions to buy a longer-range version of the European planemaker’s newest narrow-body jet, according to CEO Ronojoy Dutta.

Given their current financial position and standing in the Indian market, Indigo believes that they have the resources to expand as a low cost carrier that also flies long haul. As per the same report by Skift, the $8.6 billion market value of IndiGo’s parent company is almost twice as that of Air France-KLM and ahead of Singapore Airlines.

Initial Routing Plans

a large stone arch with a blue sky

New Delhi to London on Indigo? (Image Credit: Unsplash)

IndiGo wants to operate one-stop flights to cities like London from New Delhi, while flying non-stop to countries like China, Vietnam, Myanmar and Russia. It’s in talks with Airbus SE to buy a yet-to-be-released longer version of the European planemaker’s newest narrow-body jet. The airline is preparing to place a “large” order, Dutta said.

While these plans look ambitious, there are a few challenges. Fuel cost is going to be one of them since oil prices are on the rise.

Discount carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, which launched services on intercontinental routes, has been weighed down by losses after a rapid expansion. AirAsia X Bhd., the Malaysian long-haul, low-cost airline, opted to focus on Asia after on-off services to London. It still flies to a Honolulu, via a stop in Osaka. Both airlines offer premium seats with extra legroom, meals and in-flight entertainment.

This has been attempted before and the results have been a mixed bag of sorts.


The Pundit’s Mantra

I’ve flown Indigo a few times on domestic flights within India. I’ve found them to be the typical no frills airline. Their prices are low, the service is decent and the flights are generally on time. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. More competition is always good for us travelers. I’m looking forward to more options to transit via Europe while traveling between India and the US.

Have you flown Indigo airlines? How has your experience been? Would you fly Indigo to Europe? Let us know in the comments section.