IndiGo ready to restart the international network

Indian LCC Indigo plans to restart scheduled international flights to a host of destinations, a recovery step 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 Emirates United Arabs; 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 be launched in phases throughout April, noting that some of the international routes were operating on a limited basis through COVID-19 “travel bubbles” between India and certain countries. Now regular scheduled service can resume as India and other countries ease border restrictions.

Regular operations to Thailand already started on March 27.

“The resumption of these flights will enhance India’s connectivity with the world and help accelerate economic and tourism activities that had been impacted by the pandemic,” said IndiGo chief commercial officer William Boulter. “We are pleased to resume our planned international operations. Following the easing of restrictions, we are seeing a huge demand for international travel.

“We hope this improved connectivity with various destinations across the continent will give a boost to the travel and tourism sector, while proving to be a catalyst for economic recovery… IndiGo remains committed to playing its part in helping the nation to rebound.”

In addition to resuming flights 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 started on March 27, includes 100 flights connecting cities in India.

“We are pleased to announce these 100 flights to strengthen our home network,” said Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer of IndiGo. “These new and restarted routes will not only improve our inland connectivity between regions, but will also meet city-specific travel demand. Strengthening inter- and intra-regional connections between the North, East, South and West, these flights will also promote trade and tourism in the regions. We will continue to offer new itineraries based on travel demand across various sectors.

Notable new domestic routes include the service from Pantnagar (PGH) to both Dehradun (DED) and DEL. “The newly introduced itineraries are aimed at business and leisure travelers who want to visit the Kumaon area and its foothills,” Kumar said. “Connectivity in Pantnagar will greatly improve the time taken to reach popular tourist attractions.”

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