Where will Indigo fly the A350?

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  • tomwjsimpson
    Participant

    Indigo has strengthened it’s relationship with Airbus having ordered 30 A350-900’s (with options for 70 more) but where are we likely to see these jets flying to in the future?

    Will they compete head to head with AI on core routes or will they focus on secondary cities? Will they have a ‘premium’ class?


    LetsFlyNow
    Participant

    I think we’ll most certainly see them come to the likes of London, Paris, AMS and Australia. The partnership with AF-KLM bodes well for flights to AMS/CDG. SYD & MEL are with their ca. 12hrs flight times also reasonable – Indigo also partners with QF so some feed is expected.

    What i don’t expect are Ultra-long haul routes to say SFO. Without alot of premium seating these are loss making routes.
    I could imagine a small business class with say 14 seats like AF has on their leisure routes and some PE seats. Eco will probably be in a 3-4-3 config. like on Frenchbee.

    But i think we’ll have a better idea in a year or after they receive their A321-XLR and we see if they’ll use those planes to Europe and if they’ll introduce some premium seats.

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    MarkivJ
    Participant

    I honestly have been scratching my head on this order. I really can’t see them competing with the newly revamped AI, the EU and MEB3 carriers unless they’re going in for a Norwegian style long haul LCC. And then, the question of profitability on that model arises.

    My initial thought was that they’ll ramp up India – IST services if their TK partnership holds good. But, India-TK flight agreements needs to be revised and my understanding is that both countries have collectively exhausted the current limit (28 weekly flights). Neither Govt seems to be interested in revisiting the agreement at the moment.

    So, with all of that said, I can see them focusing on Middle East, Eastern Africa and the Far east (esp areas like Bali which they fly to at the moment). The resort holiday market in India is growing and the Far East provides such opportunities.

    There are countries that could benefit from non-stop service to India – like S Africa. But there’s a reason why SAA and Jet Airways ended some of the services – they weren’t profitable enough. And the MEB3 have very aggressive India – SA deals. So again, (feels like I’m talking in a loop here) – comes back to profitability and the model.

    Countries/cities that could definitely benefit from more nonstop connections to India (and could be profitable, without fear of too much competition) would be Australia, S Korea, Japan, China, etc.

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    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    With expanding airport capacity and quality, along with economic strength and favourable demographics I think plenty of scope for expansion beyond what most of us can imagine for Indian aviation. India can be quite protectionist, so the ME3 might be constrained from expanding too much more to foster the expansion of the home grown carriers, capacity is needed so it makes sense to me that Indigo would expand to wide body aircraft which don’t necessarily need to be used on long haul routes, short and mid haul within Asia supports many wide body operations.

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    Inquisitive
    Participant

    Indigo present model is unique. It is not full service airline but it is not low cost airline either.

    Their strength is identifying route where reasonably good load factors are possible and they serve those with excellent efficiency – good fare basis, good schedule management and good connections inside India. I used their International route with connections inside India and those are excellent. From domestic to international, they always through book luggage and that is hassle free.

    I presume they will run A350 on popular routes like London, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and in that process will carry transit passengers. As others mentioned, India has very good opportunity to become a transit hub due to better time break.

    They might also follow the earlier Jet Airways strategy by selecting a smaller European airport like Brussels as transit hubs for US/Canada route.

    If they continue with “buy on board” food concept for long haul, I hope they improve the offering way better than what they have now.
    And I am sure that in A350, they will have premium cabins.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Rferguson2
    Participant

    What will be interesting to see is whether Indigo will be one of the VERY few airlines that have succeeded in Low Cost Long Haul. Many have tried, nearly all have failed with the most successful being the likes of Jetstar and Scoot although they have the power of their parent companies Qantas and Singapore helping them out. Even Air Asia gave up on true long haul saying it was unable to succeed although they have found a sweet spot with ‘medium haul’ wide body flights.

    I think in terms of routes Indigo will focus on secondary airports that have no curfew on flight times enabling them to use their aircraft for quick turnarounds and most likely following Air Asia’s success in primarily operating flights of a length that will allow them to get the most sectors out of their aircraft to generate those all important add ons that loco’s charge.

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    Woodpecker
    Participant

    I wish Indigo the best of luck, having more options is always good for competition.

    However, I will be surprised if some of the Middle East trio do not match Indigo’s fares for the India – EU & India- Central Asia sectors. And then given that prices are equal, a full service airline would usually be preferred over a LCC. Where Indigo may succeed is if they schedule non stop Westbound routes from the second tier Indian cities using their A321s.

    Their new A350s I guess would probably be from the bigger Indian metros to various EU cities, Eastbound maybe to China, Korea & Japan.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Simon58
    Participant

    Many of the destinations named in earlier posts are currently operated by AI, who recently have suddenly woken up and launched/re-introduced routes into Europe. I believe they understand Indigo to be a threat, who in turn will have no 2nd thought about operating to key destinations
    already served by AI/UK. There are also airports which need more capacity but slots are not available and a larger aircraft will help overcome this. Their CEO Pieter Elbers clearly understands the opportunities that exist and will take advantage of this.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    From a UK perspective, I would imagine Gatwick, Birmingham & Manchester are all potential options.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    For the many reasons previously canvased on this forum I don’t see Birmingham as a starter.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    tomwjsimpson
    Participant

    @Back of the Plane “From a UK perspective, I would imagine Gatwick, Birmingham & Manchester are all potential options.”

    I wonder if the likes of EDI or GLA could also be on their radar? GLA seems to be missing out on a lot of routes in favour of EDI, however, Indigo may we wish to try and take away some transfer passengers from the ME3 – and at the right price, with the right product – I think they could do this especially for VFR traffic.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I can EDI (being the capital city) as the only possible starter in Scotland providing that tourists are enough to be the backbone of the traffic (very doubtful) but I cant see GLA as a starter at all for the same reasons that other airlines have bypassed the city.
    Frankly I don’t see any UK regional cities as likely routes. LHR

    The airline is I feel much more likely to push down to AU and NZ where the is the prospect of both some business but mainly tourist traffic also to Southern and North West Africa. Some of these areas have already proved successful for low cost long haul and Indigo I believe can successfully take on Jetstar and the like given the significant advantage of a lower cost base and a huge potential customer base who are likely to support the local airline. China and Japan as others have mentioned may also be likely targets but this will I feel be tougher against Air Asia.
    Bali and Thailand as others have mentioned certainly have the traffic if Indigo are competitive enough to harness it.


    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    I mentioned Gatwick, Birmingham & Manchester as potential UK destinations simply because, and I am guessing here, my assumption was that Indigo would be targeting the ‘Visiting Friends & Family’ market in the UK.

    In part, I guess we won’t know where Indigo are positioning themselves until we see the plans for their cabins. However, I really can’t believe that they will try and go head to head with full service carriers, be they Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian or even North American.

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