Indian LCC IndiGo will launch four new domestic routes, growing its expansive network in India that currently comprises 74 destinations.
From Oct. 30, the airline will commence two 4X-weekly routes: between Ahmedabad (AMD) and Jammu (IXJ); and between Ranchi (IXR) and Bhubaneshwar (BBI). From Nov. 1, it will open two 3X-weekly routes: between Bhopal (BHO) and Udaipur (UDR); and between Indore (IDR) and Chandigarh (IXC.
IndiGo is the largest domestic carrier in India with around a 55% market share.
The BHO-UDR route will be tied to Indian government programs that provide a mix of tax breaks and subsidies to IndiGo as an incentive to operate the service.
IndiGo noted the new routes will touch a combined seven Indian states. “We are pleased to enhance connectivity and accessibility by introducing exclusive flights on new domestic routes,” chief strategy and revenue officer Sanjay Kumar said in a statement. “Enhanced connectivity between the political and commercial capitals of these states will help bolster economic growth through increased trade opportunities and tourist footprint.”
IndiGo is not alone in its assessment that there are secondary markets in India with latent demand for air travel, but which are poorly served and cut off from the country’s expanding airline network. Indian startup Akasa Air, which launched operations in August, has said its strategy is to connect under-served and unserved secondary cities with hubs.
IndiGo noted the appeal of the various destinations, saying Ranchi “provides easy access to numerous waterfalls located in the close vicinity of the city.” Ahmedabad, located on the banks of Sabarmati river, “is known for its world-famous cotton textiles.”
Cotton is a prominent industry in several of the cities, pointing to a possible source of connectivity.
“Enhanced accessibility in these cities will help in magnifying the socioeconomic and cultural growth of the country,” IndiGo said. “These flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travelers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options to access destinations which help in building businesses and are known for their tourist attractions.”
In addition to the 74 domestic destinations in its network, the LCC flies to 26 international airports. The announcement of the new domestic routes comes on the heels of IndiGo unveiling plans earlier this month to open a daily Mumbai (BOM)-Istanbul (IST) service from Jan. 1, 2023.