After spearheading a fare war in the domestic skies, India's largest low-cost carrier IndiGo is set to do the same on three important international routes - Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore.
Starting September, you can now fly to these destinations at a promotional return fare of Rs 9,999 (all inclusive), around 33% cheaper than nearest rivals.
The airline is offering 25,000 seats at this inaugural fare, with 1,260 seats on offer per week and a 20-kg limit on free baggage.
After kicking off with the Dubai sector on September 1, the airline will fly daily on the Delhi-Bangkok and Delhi-Singapore routes and plans to connect Mumbai with Dubai and Bangkok from October.IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said the cheapest fare being offered by other low-cost airlines on these routes was Rs 15,000 while full-service carriers charged around Rs 21,000.
The airline plans to launch operations to Muscat and Kathmandu as well and has applied for permission to fly on the Kolkata-Bangkok and Kolkata-Dhaka routes.
IndiGo, which has a fleet of 39 Airbus A320 aircraft, will add another 21 by December 2012. By next March, the airline will have 8 or 9 aircraft dedicated for international travel.
The airline which has 4,056 employees plans to hire 200 pilots, 900 cabin crew and 600 engineers over the next 18 months.
Ghosh said competitors were formidable: "We have to see how to keep cost and fares low."
With a domestic market share of 19.7%, IndiGo is the third largest airline in the country. It made a profit of Rs 550 crore in 2009-10.
The airline said it is focusing on profit in the international foray as well.
The airline, which took three years to break even after launching domestic operations is confident that it will start making profits on its international operations faster.
"We are not only the fastest growing LCC in India but anywhere in the world. The load factors on these routes are great and the current players, whose cost structure is much higher than us, are earning a fair amount of profit," Ghosh said.
"There is some method behind our madness. We have taken a large, well-call calculated bet," he said.