Indigo has officially launched flights from Darbhanga in the Indian state of Bihar, adding its 67th domestic destination. India’s largest low-cost carrier now connects the city with Kolkata and Hyderabad with daily flights.
Indigo yesterday (Monday, 6th July) operated its first flight out of Darbhanga Airport. Flight 6E6924 departed at 12:45 local time bound for Hyderabad, with several politicians present onboard. Darbhanga is Indigo’s 67th domestic destination and is a part of its plan to grow its regional presence in India.
Just two hours later, IndiGo’s second new route out of Darbhanga also took-off for the first time. Flight 6E6921 departed at 14:55 bound for Kolkata. Both the inaugural flights were operated by Airbus A320neos, featuring 186 economy class seats in a 3-3 layout.
Services from Darbhanga were originally scheduled to take-off in February but were postponed due to the second wave of COVID-19 in the country. However, with flights now here, Indigo is excited to get going.
Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, Indigo, said:
We are pleased to expand our regional presence and begin operations from cultural land of Darbhanga, Bihar. It is in line with our commitment to augment the domestic connectivity within the country, to enable increased access and mobility. These new flights from Darbhanga to Kolkata and Hyderabad will enhance connectivity between the three states and promote trade and commerce in the region.
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Until now, SpiceJet enjoyed a monopoly at Darbhanga Airport. SpiceJet has seen extremely high demand from the city in recent months. Responding to this high demand, SpiceJet added flights to Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata in March 2021. This is in addition to existing routes to Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
Indigo’s entry means that SpiceJet is now not the sole carrier operating out of Darbhanga. While SpiceJet now flies to 7 destinations from the city, Indigo is starting with only 2 destinations. Both airlines now offer daily and nonstop flights to Kolkata, although SpiceJet uses a turboprop on the route. Meanwhile, Indigo’s flight to Hyderabad will give it a monopoly until the end of this month before SpiceJet launches daily flights on the same route in August.
While SpiceJet might have the time advantage since it got routes in 2018 under the government-backed UDAN scheme, IndiGo will not be far behind. As more government subsidies become available, the low-cost giant will likely grow its presence in Darbhanga.
Meanwhile, Indigo recently announced that it will give a 10% discount on base fares to those passengers who are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Featured image by Airbus
What do you think of Indigo launching flights to Darbhanga and breaking SpiceJet’s monopoly in the city? Let me know in the comments section below.