IndiGo Set To Restart International Network

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Indian LCC IndiGo plans restart scheduled international flights to a host of destinations, a recovery milestone for a carrier that had been limited by India’s COVID-19 border restrictions.

Flights from Chennai (MAA), Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM) and other Indian cities will connect to international destinations including Abu Dhabi (AUH), Dubai (DXB) and Sharjah (SHJ) in the UAE; Bangkok (DMK) and Phuket (HKT) in Thailand; Colombo (CMB) in Sri Lanka; Dammam ({DMM}}), Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH) in Saudi Arabia; Dhaka (DAC) in Bangladesh; Doha (DOH); Kathmandu (KTM) in Nepal; Kuwait (({KWI}}); Maldives (MLE); and Singapore (SIN).

IndiGo said the international routes will launch in phases throughout April, noting that some of the international routes had been operating on a limited basis through COVID-19 “travel bubbles” between India and select countries. Now regular scheduled service can recommence as India and other countries ease border restrictions.

Scheduled operations to Thailand already commenced on March 27.

“The resumption of these flights will bolster India’s connectivity with the globe and aid in the acceleration of economic and tourist activities that had been impacted by the pandemic,” IndiGo chief commercial officer William Boulter said. “We are pleased to resume our scheduled international operations. Following the easing of restrictions, we are witnessing a huge demand for international travel.

“We hope that this enhanced connectivity with various destinations across the continent will provide a boost to the travel and tourism sector, while proving to be a catalyst for economic revival … IndiGo remains committed to play its part in helping the nation bounce back.”

In addition to the flights resuming in April, IndiGo will begin flights in May to Kuala Lumpur (KUL) in Malaysia and Muscat (MCT) in Oman, and in June to Istanbul (IST).

The carrier’s domestic summer schedule, which commenced March 27, includes 100 flights connecting cities in India.

“We are pleased to announce these 100 flights to strengthen our domestic network,” IndiGo chief strategy and revenue officer Sanjay Kumar said. “These new and re-commenced routes will not only enhance our domestic connectivity across regions, but also cater to the city-specific travel demand. Reinforcing inter and intra-regional connections between north, east, south and west, these flights will also promote trade and tourism across the regions. We will continue to offer new routes as per the travel demand on various sectors.”

Notable new domestic routes include service from Pantnagar (PGH) to both Dehradun (DED) and DEL. “The newly introduced routes are aimed at business and leisure travelers looking to travel to the Kumaon region and its foothills,” Kumar said. “Connectivity to Pantnagar will significantly improve the time taken in reaching popular tourist attractions.”

IndiGo also highlighted a new Indore (IDR)-Jammu (IXJ) domestic route starting March 28. “The addition of this new route from Indore is a part of IndiGo’s strategy to enhance connectivity to central India,” Kumar said.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.