IndiGo, India’s largest carrier by domestic market share, announced further expansion of its International services yesterday. The airline announced next set of flights to Doha and flights between Bengaluru & Singapore. The flights will be effective 30th June 2017.
Rival Jet Airways has started flights between these two cities in December 2016. While Jet Airways operates a day time departure, IndiGo has opted for a late evening departure from Bengaluru and early morning departure from Singapore.
IndiGo had launched services to Singapore with flights from Delhi & Mumbai, only to scale it down to a single daily departure from Chennai. The airline started second daily Chennai – Singapore flight in March’17.
The move can be seen as a counter to Jet Airways which had announced intentions of making Bengaluru its third hub after Mumbai and Delhi. Jet Airways launched flights to Singapore and Colombo from Bengaluru and has announced daily flights to its European hub – Amsterdam from end of October.
The Bengaluru – Singapore route sees competition from Singapore Airlines, which operates a daily B772 aircraft along with Silk Air which operates five times a week with narrow body aircraft. Low cost carrier Tiger operates daily with narrow body aircraft as well. All the three carriers are part of the Singapore Airlines group. Air India has operates this route in the past operating the A319s on this route.
As per data released by Directorate General of Civil Aviation, an average of 434 passengers travel daily each way between the two cities. The data is ambiguous since it is not clear if it covers the passengers who travel via intermediate point or those who travel beyond Singapore.
IndiGo flight on Bengaluru – Singapore will depart at 2120 and reach Singapore at 0430 hours. The return flight will depart Singapore at 0530 and reach Bengaluru at 0800 hours. The airline is also expected to start flights to Singapore from Kolkata and possibly supplement it further with connections from some non-metro stations.
IndiGo has been accused by rivals of mirroring the network and with few hundred aircraft on order awaiting delivery between now and 2022, the airline is merely following the global low cost model of chasing airlines on the back of cheaper per unit costs.