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IndiGo focus on expanding China ops, third destination soon

The deal between the two carriers will enable Qatar Airways to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

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Indigo Airlines

New Delhi, Nov 15 : After expanding its reach via codeshare to Europe in the West, India’s airline major IndiGo is now focusing singularly on expanding operations to China and beyond.

As a strategy, the airline currently has limited its own flight operations to the edges of Asia, spanning from Istanbul in the west, Hong Kong to the east and Ho Chi Minh City on the Southeast Asia side.

Subsequently, it utilises a codeshare pact with Turkish Airways to connect passengers to over 10 European destinations from the western limit of its operations.

Furthermore, the airline is expected to utilise its new codeshare pact with Qatar Airways in a similar fashion. It recently entered into a one-way codeshare pact with the Doha-based passenger carrier.

The deal between the two carriers will enable Qatar Airways to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

In aviation parlance, a codeshare allows two airlines to sell seats on each others’ flights in order to provide passengers with a wider choice of destinations.

However, it is East Asia, particularly China, Indigo has set its sights on to expand international expansion.

Consequently, the airline is scouting for a new destination in China as well as getting into discussions with other airlines for expanding its reach from this undisclosed station.

Currently, the airline operates to Chengdu and Guangzhou in China.

The airline’s Chief Operating Officer William Boulter told IANS: “With our recent one-way codeshare agreement which was signed with Qatar, and the one which was signed with Turkish Airlines in December 2018, we have been able to strengthen our connections in the Middle East and beyond.

“The one sector we are really focused on is China and are open to discussions with other airlines for expanding further in this destination.”

Recently, the airline launched 5 new flights to Myanmar, China, Vietnam and Kuwait, but has remained loyal to the low-cost model with little adjustment.

At present, IndiGo has a fleet of over 200 aircraft and offers close to 1,500 daily flights connecting 60 domestic and 23 international destinations.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])

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Swamy warns against Air India sale, wants House panel to vet his note

It has been reliably learnt that the Rajya Sabha member had expressed reservations over privatisation of Air India the meeting of a Parliamentary consultative committee earlier this month.

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Subramanian Swamy

New Delhi, Jan 23: The government’s plan to sell national carrier Air India may face political and legal headwinds with senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy raising the red flag against the decision.

Days before the launch of bidding process by inviting Expressions of Interest (EoI) from potential suitors, Swamy has warned against such move, saying the issue was currently being discussed by a Parliamentary panel.

“Right now, it (Air India disinvestment) is before the consultative committee and I am a member of that. I have been asked to give a note which will be discussed in the next meeting. They can’t go ahead without that,” Swamy told IANS.

“If they do, I will go to court. They know that too,” he cautioned.

A vocal opponent of Air India privatisation, Swamy had earlier suggested to list 49 per cent of Air India shares on stock exchanges while government holds 51 per cent in the carrier as an alternative to selling its entire stake to private companies.

It has been reliably learnt that the Rajya Sabha member had expressed reservations over privatisation of Air India the meeting of a Parliamentary consultative committee earlier this month.

After its failed first attempt, the Modi government has shown great zeal this time to sell Air India. It is set to offer a sweetened deal to potential buyers this time around by removing a large chunk of the debt and liabilities from the airline books.

Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had earlier said that Air India will be shut down, in case the disinvestment exercise is not successful.

Sources told IANS that the preliminary information memorandum (PIM) inviting EoI has been tentatively scheduled to be unveiled on January 27.

Air India is proposed to be sold along with its subsidiary Air India Express and ground-handling joint venture company Air India Singapore Airport Terminal Services Ltd (AISATS) in which it has 50 per cent stake.

Air India on January 10 came out with tender for engaging aircraft asset management companies for carrying out technical audit of its entire fleet.

A Ministerial panel on Air India chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah on January 7 approved the draft EoI and a share purchase agreement (SPA) for the airline’s disinvestment.

(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])

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Vodafone quits Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project

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vodafone m pesa

San Francisco, Jan 22 Telecom major Vodafone has joined the list of top companies which have backed out from Facebook’s controversial Libra cryptocurrency project.

Vodafone joins PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe and Booking Holdings in withdrawing from the controversial project — and is the first company to exit after the Libra Association was formed in October last year, Coindesk reported on Tuesday.

The companies have left owing to concerns about heightened regulatory scrutiny and users’ data privacy.

“We can confirm that Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association. Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient,” the Libra Association said in a statement.

“The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”

Despite top-notch firms pulling out, Facebook and 20 partner organisations formally joined the digital currency Libra project in Geneva in October.

The Libra Association said that more than 1,500 entities have expressed an interest in joining the digital currency project.

Several US senators have opposed Facebook’s digital coin, arguing that the social networking giant has been irresponsible with user data privacy. They have even called the digital cryptocurrency Libra “delusional” and “dangerous”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in October about Libra, defending the idea, but acknowledging the struggles left to overcome.

In a six-hour grilling at a House Financial Services Committee hearing, both Democrat and Republican lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction with Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans.

“As I have examined Facebook’s various problems, I have come to the conclusion that it would be beneficial for all if Facebook concentrates on addressing its many existing deficiencies and failures before proceeding any further on the Libra project,” said California Representative Maxine Waters.

“Facebook’s internal motto was for a long time ‘move fast and break things.’ Mr. Zuckerberg, we do not want to break the international monetary system,” added New York Democrat Nydia VelAizquez.

Libra has failed in its current form, according to the President of Switzerland.

In a media interview, Swiss President and Finance Minister Ueli Maurer stated that Libra does not have a chance of being successful “because the basket of currencies that is deposited in this currency is not accepted by the national (central) banks”.

“The project in this form has actually failed,” Maurer was quoted as saying.

The Libra project, which is still in development, aims for the launch of its first version this year.

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Vodafone quits Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project

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vodafone

San Francisco: Vodafone has become the latest big player who have decided to quit Facebook’s controversial Libra cryptocurrency project.

Vodafone joins PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe and Booking Holdings in withdrawing from the controversial project — and is the first company to exit after the Libra Association was formed in October last year, coindesk reported on Tuesday.

The companies left owing to concerns about heightened regulatory scrutiny.

“We can confirm that Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association. Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient,” the Libra Association said in a statement.

“The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”

Despite top-notch firms pulling out, Facebook and 20 partner organisations formally joined the digital currency Libra project in Geneva in October.

The Libra Association said that more than 1,500 entities have expressed an interest in joining the digital currency project.

Several US senators have opposed Facebook’s digital coin, arguing that the social networking giant has been irresponsible with user data privacy. They have even called the digital cryptocurrency Libra “delusional” and “dangerous”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in October about Libra, defending the idea, but acknowledging the struggles left to overcome.

Libra has failed in its current form, according to the President of Switzerland.

In a media interview, Swiss President and Finance Minister Ueli Maurer stated that Libra does not have a chance of being successful “because the basket of currencies that is deposited in this currency is not accepted by the national (central) banks”.

“The project in this form has actually failed,” Maurer was quoted as saying.

The Libra project, which is still in development, aims for the launch of its first version this year.

Continue Reading
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