Home/ News / India/  IndiGo sees 'huge pent up demand' for domestic and international travel, says finance chief

InterGlobe Aviation's IndiGo airline is seeing a "huge pent up demand" for domestic travel in India and increasing interest in flying abroad, news agency Reuters has reported citing its finance chief on Monday.

While addressing the annual Airline Economics conference in Dublin, Riyaz Peermohamed said, "Overall we are seeing huge pent up demand coming in because, post-COVID, everybody wants to travel. It's not just domestic traffic within India, which is huge; we are also seeing a lot of demand from people wanting to go abroad."

Also Read: Indigo, Coimbatore airport among top 20 in ‘punctuality’ list globally: Report

Earlier in December, the aviation sector in India saw the monthly domestic air passenger traffic touch 1.29 crore to cross the pre-Covid levels. Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia termed the numbers as a good sign and a healthy trend for the aviation industry.

Prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 levels (2019), the number of domestic passengers was 1.26 crore. During the pandemic-induced lockdown and other restrictions, the aviation sector was completely shut and the industry was facing huge losses. Even as the restrictions eased, the sector gradually came out of the blow and currently seems to have recovered.

On 5 January, the carrier's chief executive officer Pieter Elbers said that while passenger traffic and unruly behaviour of passenger are not directly related, airlines have seen a rise in unruly behaviour since the covid-related restrictions were lifted.

“I don’t think it is connected to recovery in traffic but we could see that people were very focused on hygiene measures during travel throughout covid and, now with all the covid measures gone, we are basically back to the way people used to travel prior to covid. So, there is probably an element to it," he added, without highlighting any particular incident.

In the past few weeks, four incidents involving unruly passengers have been reported, including a heated argument between a passenger and a cabin crew on board IndiGo’s Istanbul-Delhi flight on 16 December, and a mid-air scuffle among passengers, disregarding safety protocols on Thai Airways’ Bangkok-Kolkata flight on 26 December. A 26 November incident has come to light of a passenger urinating on a female business class passenger on Air India’s New York-Delhi flight and a similar incident on a Paris-Delhi flight last month.

The budget airline has over 290 planes in its fleet, and 500 aircraft are in the pipeline, out of which 69 are expected to be A321XLRs. While the delivery of XLRs is likely to start from 2024, it remains to be seen whether Airbus can meet the timeline considering the supply chain issues of engines and parts.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Updated: 17 Jan 2023, 12:42 AM IST
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