NEW DELHI :
Budget carrier IndiGo has joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a member on Wednesday, a move which will help the airline develop strong partnerships in international markets, the airline said in a statement.
"This membership will help IndiGo align to global practices developed by IATA and will further strengthen the airline’s partnership portfolio," the airline added.
IATA, which is a global trade association for the airline industry representing over 290 airlines, counts Indian airlines like Air India and SpiceJet as its members.
IndiGo is currently an IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) registered airline and an IATA Clearing House member.
"This partnership (with IATA) will not only help us share best practices, but also be a facilitator in our dream of building the best air transportation system in the world," IndiGo's chief executive Ronojoy Dutta said in a statement.
IndiGo's announcement to join IATA comes a day after the airline said that it has placed a firm order for 300 Airbus A320neo family aircraft worth more than $30 billion at list prices making it Airbus’s largest aircraft order from a single airline.
This order includes A321XLR planes, Airbus's latest and longest range for a single-aisle aircraft, will be delivered to customers worldwide only after 2023.
IATA will play a significant part in creating key partnerships for IndiGo to tap international markets in future, said Ajay Awtaney, Founder and Editor of LiveFromALounge.com, an Indian aviation website.
"Going ahead, as IndiGo expands its international operations, it will need more code-share and partnerships with other airlines, and IATA is ideally an association where IndiGo can meet their right kind of partners," Awtaney said adding that the airline will recover millions of dollars it spends on IATA membership and products from new passengers it captures through these partnerships.
IndiGo currently flies to foreign destinations such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, China, Kuwait, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The airline plans to fly to European destinations, including to London, in future.
"IndiGo choose to be an IATA member as it gives the airline wider access to passengers from different geographies through IATA-backed agents and member airlines," said an industry expert who tracks IndiGo closely.
"However, most budget carriers world-wide are not IATA members as such memberships end up increasing costs by millions of dollars," the person added requesting anonymity.