CEO of economy carrier IndiGo, Pieter Elbers, on Tuesday described India as one of the most competitive aviation markets in the world.
Addressing the All India Management Association (AIMA) conference here, he further added that the competition in the market is huge.
Elbers said that India is an “incredible” aviation market and IndiGo is going through a “maturing phase”.
He underlined the need for having aviation hubs in India which is an underserved area. The IndiGo CEO said that India has the geographic advantage to become an aviation hub.
He pointed out that 65 per cent of the world population is within 5-6 hours of flying range and with India’s own growing flying population, India should provide points of connection to international travellers in the region. He said that international connectivity is already increasing at Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad airports.
To fulfill India’s ambition of becoming an international aviation hub, there needs to be deep collaboration between airports, airlines, and government, Elbers said. He pointed out that the top 20 cities in the world have dual airport systems and India’s large cities need more than one airport.
The IndiGo CEO said that he monitors the number of new passports issued by the government because each new passport holder means a new international traveller. He pointed out that only 8-9 per cent of Indians have a passport.
Earlier this month, the airline announced that it will be launching direct flight connectivity between Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh.
The flight connecting Delhi and Itanagar will start operations from October 2, 2023.
As of now, IndiGo operates two direct flights from Itanagar’s Donyi Polo airport to Mumbai and Kolkata. These flights started operations on November 28, 2022.
The airline leads with a domestic market share of over 63 per cent.
It has also started expanding its operations internationally. IndiGo connects 32 international and 81 domestic destinations.
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