The budget airline service provider IndiGo is mulling to start a one-stop flight to European cities, according to reports by Business Standard and Times Now. The airline is in discussion with the airports at Tbilisi (Georgia) and Baku (Azerbaijan) for using them as technical stop, for purposes like refuelling. The airline is also said to have initiated the talks with Istanbul airport. However, the airport has high landing charges, that plays as a hurdle from closing the deal.
“IndiGo showed its interest in the Georgian aviation market back in the summer of 2018. The meetings with the Georgian side in August were organised by us,” a statement from TAV Holdings read. TAV Holdings operates the Tbilisi airport.
IndiGo airline is expected to launch the service by March 2019 once the discussions are over. While the mainline airline service providers such as British Airways, Air India, and jet Airways charge a hefty amount for the travel through this route, IndiGo airline will charge 30% less to the usual cost.
Airbus A321 Neo aircraft with a flying range of up to 7,400 km, will be aircraft that will fly through the proposed route. It can accommodate around 222 passengers in a single-class configuration. The aircraft will also have an additional fuel tank. The aircraft is expected to take four hours to reach Baku and Tbilisi for a pit stop, from where it will take another four hours to London.
The experts from the airline industry see this as a new opportunity for travelers from India. IndiGo is already known for creating a new segment of travelers in the domestic market. However, the airline will have to compete with other airlines, especially with such low-ticket charges. Experts also extend speculations about the aircrafts’ capacity to carry larger cargos, which may limit the revenue opportunities.
IndiGo has around 190 aircraft, connecting 48 domestic destinations and 11 international destinations. The service provider offers 1200 daily flights.