Indian low-cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo announced Hong Kong as its 15th international destination. The airline will connect its southern Indian hub of Bengaluru with Hong Kong effective 11th December 2018 with non-stop flights.
The airline will operate as per below timings
6E 1773 BLR 2340 – 0745(+1) HKG 134567
6E 1774 HKG 0845 – 1245 BLR 14567
6E 1771 BLR 0445 – 1245 HKG 2
6E 1772 HKG 1400 – 1800 BLR 2
6E 1774 HKG 0845 – 1150 BLR 2
This is the second instance after flights to Kuala Lumpur, that the airline has to operate a split schedule, thanks to the closure of runway at Bengaluru on Tuesdays.
The airline has been expanding rapidly this year and its conservative international expansion is giving way to aggressive launch of new stations. The other international stations for the airline are Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Colombo, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Male, Muscat, Phuket, Sharjah and Singapore. Interestingly, the airline flies to only 11 right now with 4 of them being planned to become operational in quick succession.
India has a separate Air Services Agreement (ASA) with Hong Kong which has a restriction on combination of services per week and seats per week. Recently, Spicejet announced launch of services to Hong Kong from Delhi. While Delhi – Hong Kong is a competitive route, Bengaluru – Hong Kong is a monopoly route for Cathay Dragon (erstwhile DragonAir) which operates the A330s on the sector. The two class A330s for Cathay Dragon can sit 300 passengers in two classes. IndiGo on the other hand plans to launch the route with the A320neo which has a capacity of 186 seats and could look at graduating to the A321neo which the airline is slated to receive soon. The airline could convert some of its A321neo to the LR variant as it looks to satisfy its global ambitions.
Hong Kong airport is one of the most congested in the world and India – Hong Kong is one of the top most markets from India.