IndiGo will begin flights on at least 26 new routes, if not more, this summer. The airline is expanding its presence at Goa’s new airport by introducing flights to more and more cities across India in the upcoming summer season.
Expanding at Goa MOPA
IndiGo was the first airline to start operations at New Goa Manohar International Airport (Goa MOPA), Goa’s second airport in the North of the city/state. In the upcoming summer schedule, the airline is launching flights to 12 cities from Goa MOPA:
- Amritsar: daily from 26th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Bhubaneswar: 4-weekly from 26th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Coimbatore: 4-weekly from 26th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Nashik: daily from 15th March 2023 using ATR72-600s (6-weekly from 31st March 2023)
- Kolkata: 3-weekly from 28th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Rajkot: 3-weekly from 28th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Nagpur: daily from 26th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Raipur: daily flight between 1st May 2023 and 7th May 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Ranchi: 3-weekly from 26th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Varanasi: 3-weekly from 28th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
- Visakhapatnam: 3-weekly from 28th March 2023 using Airbus A320s
The airline has already launched flights between Goa MOPA and Chandigarh, which is operating daily using Airbus A320s. By the end of May 2023, IndiGo will operate flights to 19 destinations from Goa MOPA (excluding Ranchi given it is only a 7-day service). In addition to the above cities, IndiGo will operate flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Jaipur.
IH Aviation and Travel had already reported about IndiGo’s expansion in Rajkot, where the airline will launch flights to 3 new destinations from the city (including Goa MOPA) this summer. IndiGo will start flights from Rajkot to Udaipur, Indore (both operated by ATR72-600s) and Goa MOPA. The same is applicable to Nashik, from where it will begin flights to Goa MOPA, Nagpur and Ahmedabad on 15th March 2023, all of them operated by ATR72-600s.
As reported earlier, the airline will also launch 11-weekly ATR72-600 flights to Dharamshala from Delhi on 26th March 2023. Dharamshala is the newest and first destination in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh for the airline.
From Indore, the airline will also begin a daily ATR72-600 flight to Udaipur on 26th March 2023.
From Jaipur, the airline is starting flights to 3 destinations and increasing frequency on one route:
- Bareilly: 4-weekly flights from 26th March 2023 using ATR72-600s
- Bhopal: 3-weekly flights from 13th April 2023 using ATR72-600s
- Pantnagar: daily flight from 26th March 2023 using ATR72-600s
- Jodhpur: increasing from 4-weekly to a daily service effective 26th March 2023 operated by ATR72-600s
The airline will once again operate 5-weekly flights between Mumbai and Leh using Airbus A320s as of 26th March 2023. IndiGo last served this route in October 2021.
From Deoghar, the airline will launch flights to Patna and Ranchi on 26th March 2023 and 27th March 2023 respectively. Flights to Patna will operate 4-times-a-week while flights to Ranchi will operate 3-times-a-week using ATR72-600s.
India’s largest airline will also launch flights to Pune-Varanasi route on 30th March 2023 operated by Airbus A320s.
From Surat, the airline will launch flights to two cities:
- Udaipur: daily flight from 1st May 2023 using ATR72-600s
- Indore: daily flight from 1st May 2023 using ATR72-600s
Vijaywada-Shirdi route will also be operated by the airline daily using ATR72-600s as of 26th March 2023.
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IndiGo with a market share anything between 55 to 60% is dominating the Indian skies right now. Goa’s new airport is an opportunity for airlines to expand in one of the largest leisure markets of India and IndiGo is taking full advantage of this.
From the start only, the airline has remained the largest operator at Goa MOPA and introduction of flights to 11 more cities just goes to show how large the market of Goa is and how airlines want to capitalise in the best way of possible, especially taking advance of the peak summer travel season when tourists flock to the former Portuguese colony.
ATR utilisation increases in West and North India
IndiGo used to operate ATRs only in the Southern region of India, connecting smaller cities to metros and also to other smaller cities. The airline has successfully been able to do this, under its own plans or under the Regional Connectivity Scheme launched by the Government of India.
It seems like the focus is shifting a bit now to make use of these ATRs to tap into new routes where the 180-seater A320s are not needed but the ATRs fit perfectly.
The markets of Pantnagar, Deoghar, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Indore, Nashik, Rajkot amongst others will see the deployment of ATRs on some routes while some of these cities will only be served by ATRs, signalling the new opportunities this small aircraft has created for the airline and how it is helping open up new untouched routes.
For a market like India, it’s always good to have two different aircraft types in a fleet, possibly a small fleet of low-capacity aircraft, so that airlines can tap new markets where operating a high-capacity aircraft is not feasible economically. IndiGo is doing just that and it seems that the usage of ATRs to open new routes will only increase from now on.
ATRs are generally not preferred by airlines at metro cities like Mumbai and Delhi where getting a slot is a big issue. The use of a smaller aircraft like ATR72-600 in metro cities results in low-capacity in a crucial slot where an airline can deploy high-capacity A320s instead. Also, metro city airports do not prefer these because of the higher runway usage time of these smaller aircraft, resulting in slower movements of aircraft.
IndiGo, naturally, is not deploying these aircraft in any metro city and has rather chosen different bases like Hyderabad and Indore for these aircraft to operate multiple flights a day to different cities and come back to the respective bases at night.
While these are just some new routes which have been opened up by IndiGo for booking, there can be many more new routes coming soon. We will have to wait for the official announcements by IndiGo for the same.
Featured image by IndiGo
What do you think of IndiGo launching 27 new routes this summer? Also, what do you think of IndiGo’s expanding Goa MOPA offering? Let me know in the comments section below.
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