Meals Matter- IndiGo Learns the Hard Way

The only profitable airline in the Indian skies, the IndiGo Airlines, operates the flights to international destinations from major Indian cities besides flying to the domestic destinations. However, it has recently withdrawn its flights service on two sectors, Delhi-Singapore and Mumbai-Singapore. The development is likely to affect the passengers who were being provided with cheap air tickets alternative to the full service carrier flights being operated by Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Indian Airlines. The main reason for the withdrawal of the service is the long time that it takes to fly on these sectors. The about five and a half hour journey from Delhi and Mumbai and that too without meals and less of comfort has proven to be a decisive factor in pulling out of IndiGo from these segments. Add to it the competitive cheap flights from the Jet Airways and the going became really tough for IndiGo.

Experts point out that the withdrawal signals that IndiGo is not mulling any change in the plans of providing the meals in order to retain the cheap flights option on these sectors. Instead, it is willing to stop flying. So, it prefers to remain a no-frills service provider rather than adding some frills (read meals or more comfort) on its flights for the passengers. The airline, however, will continue to operate flights to Singapore from Hyderabad and Chennai which have a shorter flight time.

This is also a clear signal that if it wants to operate the low cost model on medium haul flight (of about five hours minimum duration), it will have to take into account incorporating more services which make the journey more comfortable for the passengers. Whether a change in the strategy is in the offing or not is not clear at this stage. But, considering the ambitions of the airline to operate the cheap flights on the international segment, it is worthwhile for the airline to consider making effective changes.

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