DALLAS — IndiGo (6E) made considerable progress in 2022 to establish itself as one of the most significant LCCs in the world.
The Asia Pacific (APAC) region, where 6E mostly operates, had taken the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. But 6E managed to go from losses to its highest-ever profits in the third quarter of 2022 thanks to the uptick in domestic demand and the reopening of international markets.
India’s largest low-cost carrier played a significant role in the country’s growth, from carrying more than half of all passengers to adding 50 or more aircraft. Today, we’ll look at 6E’s numbers from 2022.
IndiGo’s Golden Year
2022 was a golden year for the airline. On August 4, 2022, the LCC marked its 16th birthday, and over the course of the year, it released 90 press releases highlighting its successes. We’ll mention just a few.
The carrier mainly concentrates on domestic routes, reaching a 56% market share in India. However, it still operates close to 25 international routes.
In 2022, the airline carried around 78 million passengers, including 736k international travelers, 18 million business travelers, and 70 million domestic passengers.
Indigo (6E) operated close to 350 flights from India’s capital city airport, Delhi International Airport (DEL). 6E had close to 125k Takeoffs combined with landings from DEL to its vast domestic networks. Subsequently, it landed around 5,000 flights on international soil.
The airline’s busiest route in 2022 was from Delhi (DEL) to Bengaluru (BLR) as it flew 807,470 passengers on this route. Other popular routes include DEL-BOM, DOH-COK, DEL-CCU, CCU-DEL, and DEL-DOH.
The airline is one of the largest operators of the A320neo and A321neo aircraft. 55 new planes came online last year, bringing its fleet close to 300 aircraft.
The low-cost airline added a total of seven new destinations—five domestic and two international—to its network, helping it cross the 100 destinations mark in 2022.
The airline is one of the top recruiters of aviation professionals in the country. Last year, 5,857 professionals became part of 6E.
Other Notable Achievements in 2022
The airline led the way for sustainable aviation as it performed India’s first international Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) flight with the help of an Airbus A320neo on February 18, 2022.
According to OAG data, 6E became the sixth-largest airline in the world by passenger volume in March 2022. OAG also called out IndiGo as the fastest-growing airline in the world, with a frequency increase of 41.3% in the month.
On April 28, 2022, 6E became the first airline in Asia to land using a GAGAAN-aided approach. GAGAN, an acronym for GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation, is an indigenously cultivated Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS), jointly developed by ISRO and AAI.
Indigo made the brave decision to bring on board Pieter Elbers, a former President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL), as a replacement for CEO Ronjoy Dutta.
On August 4, 2022, 6E introduced a global-first, innovative “Three-Point Disembarkation System” to mark its sixteenth anniversary. The new Three Point Disembarkation process will be carried out from two forward and one rear exit ramp, making 6E the first airline in the world to use this approach.
On September 29, 2022, 6E received its first A321 Freighter aircraft, converted from a passenger jet to a full freighter configuration. It leased the aircraft from funds serviced by Castlelake Aviation Holdings (Ireland) Limited, part of a global alternative investment firm.
IndiGo became the first Indian airline to launch a digital logbook for pilots. In collaboration with the DGCA, the e-logbook will deliver direct flight data transfer benefits to pilots from IndiGo systems to eGCA logbooks, effective December 1, 2022.
On December 5, 2022. 6E announced the largest-ever new station launch, which immediately connected New Goa International Airport (GOX) to eight cities across India.
And at the end, on December 21, 2022, 6E completed five years of operating ATR aircraft. It inducted its first ATR 72-600 aircraft in 2017 to strengthen
regional air connectivity across India.
The largest Indian carrier flew 557,297 times in 2022. It ended the year with a record of more than 1700 daily flights via its 102 destinations, which include 76 domestic and 26 international as of December 2022.
IndiGo in 2023?
The leading low-cost airline is on a path to a record-breaking 2023. We can expect deliveries of close to 50 or 500 more fuel-efficient A320neos and A321neo aircraft. Also, we can expect more use of widebody aircraft for its international operations.
Apart from these, the airline is continuously evolving itself with the induction of new technologies, and that will continue in 2023. Eventually, the airline will grow its domestic route, and we can expect that it will fly to more than 80 domestic and 30 international destinations in 2023.
What will the near future bring for the LCC? Do let us know in the comments on our social media channels.
Feature Image: IndiGo VT-IUV Airbus A321-271NX | Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways