IndiGo’s focus is to build a “large air transportation network” and to “grow profitably”, the budget airline’s chief Aditya Ghosh said.
“You sell every seat at Rs 10, all your flights would be full and you will have the highest Passenger Load Factor (passenger occupancy). It is a sure shot way of running a bankrupt airline,” Ghosh said.
Rival budget airline SpiceJet has recorded the highest passenger occupancy in the industry for 19 months in a row.
“We are focused on profitable growth. We are not here to run an airline for the next one month,” he said. Ghosh was speaking on the sidelines of an event last week.
IndiGo is India’s biggest domestic airline by market share. The low-cost carrier’s domestic market share touched an all-time high of 42.6% in October with industry experts predicting it would soon cross the 50% mark. The combined domestic market share of Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet – the three biggest players after IndiGo – stood at 43% in October.
“We have ordered airplanes which are coming all the way for the next 12 years. So it’s (focus is) about growing profitably, about building a large consistent and reliable air transportation network. It’s not about what happens in the next 20 days,” Ghosh said.
IndiGo’s net profit for the September quarter was Rs 139.8 crore and it has more than 400 planes on order.
The airline recently tweaked its aircraft order converting 20 A320neo planes to the bigger A321neos. “We have the flexibility to do so. We will see how it goes. We are the launch customers,” Ghosh said when asked whether they would opt for more A321neos. The A321neo can seat 240 passengers while the A320neo can accommodate 189 passengers. Airlines like Jet Airways and Air India are already deploying bigger wide-body jets on high density domestic routes and Ghosh said IndiGo would look at deploying the bigger A321neos on such routes.