IndiGo should continue to expand its national “regional international footprint”: Rahul Bhatia

IndiGo co-founder and chief executive Rahul Bhatia said the airline needed to continue to expand its domestic and “regional international” footprint in addition to bolstering the short-term cargo franchise.

In an email to employees on Tuesday, Bhatia, who was named chief executive on Feb. 4, said he looked forward to working closely with the leadership team not only to set and achieve short-term goals. term, but also to ensure that the company is future-ready for the huge opportunity that awaits.

Bhatia took over as the airline’s first managing director at a time when domestic airspace is expected to experience increased competition, particularly following the acquisition of Air India by Tatas and Akasa Air. which should start its services this year.

IndiGo is the largest airline in the country and has over 50% of the domestic market.

“In this (MD) role, I look forward to working closely with the leadership team to not only set and achieve short-term goals, but also to ensure the company is future-ready for the future. ‘Huge opportunity ahead of us,’ Bhatia said.

According to him, the airline should continue to develop “the regional domestic and international footprint, further strengthen our cargo franchise with the induction of the first batch of A321 freighters, starting this summer, quickly implement the agenda digital and prepare for entry into service”. of the A321 XLR aircraft”.

The introduction of the A321 XLR will extend IndiGo’s reach into markets where it has not been able to serve so far, he added.

During the IPO process in 2015, the promoters and management team at the time promised a “big name” Indian airline to public shareholders, he said. “I, as founder-promoter, owe our country and our shareholders the stewardship to ensure we continue to deliver on our promise.”

Over the past more than 16 years, the collective efforts of employees have built an “admirable” Indian brand, which has won the goodwill of customers and public shareholders, Bhatia said.

IndiGo had a fleet of 283 aircraft, including 56 A320 CEOs, 140 A320 NEOs, 52 A321 NEOs and 35 ATRs at the end of December 2021. It operated a peak of 1,574 daily flights during the quarter, including non- regular.

On Feb. 4, IndiGo posted an after-tax profit of Rs 129.8 crore in the three months to December 2021 amid pandemic clouds.

The airline’s parent company, InterGlobe Aviation, suffered a loss of Rs 620.1 crore in the prior year period.

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