In-line with its commitment to provide support to the nation in the current scenario, India’s largest airline, IndiGo transported a total 5,785 kg of shipments from SII and Bharat Bio-tech – vaccine vials equating to 21.60 lacs doses – between January 12, 2021 and January 19, 2021.
The shipments were moved from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune to 16 locations across the country including, Vijayawada, Guwahati, Patna, Odisha, Raipur, Bhopal, Thiruvananthapuram, Indore, Imphal, Agartala, Chandigarh and Udaipur via 21 IndiGo flights.
IndiGo Ships to 16 Locations
Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo said, “We are honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to the vaccination drive, by transporting the shipments across 16 locations within the country. We will continue to partake in moving the vaccines from one part of the country to another. We look forward to supporting the nation in its hour of need.”
IndiGo has been using the belly-hold on its Airbus A320-family aircraft and has started to use its ATR 72-600s to transport vaccines as well. The first ATR flight for transportation of vaccines was from Hyderabad to Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
The turboprops serve domestic airports that the Airbus aircraft are unable to access, because the runways are too short. The turboprops are used to serve destinations – like some in the south – where the market is too small to support a 180-seat jet aircraft economically, Indigo chief commercial officer, Willy Boulter, told Smart Aviation APAC in an interview.
Indigo has scaled back its international network, because of the international flight restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The carrier is only operating one-fifth of its international capacity and that it is mostly to Gulf states, Mr. Boulter said in the interview.
The airline recently said that in order to further strengthen domestic connectivity it planned to initiate flights from seven new stations which include Leh, Darbhanga, Agra, Kurnool, Bareilly, Durgapur and Rajkot, subject to regulatory approvals and slot allocation.
It plans to open Leh and Darbhanga in February, followed by Kurnool and Agra in March, Bareilly and Durgapur in April and Rajkot in May 2021. The airline will secure all regulatory approvals and specific flight schedules will be announced as these approvals are received. It currently connects 61 domestic stations and addition of these new cities will take the overall number of domestic destinations in the 6E network to 68.
With its fleet of 262 aircraft as of 31st March 2020, the airline offered 1,674 peak daily flights during the quarter and connected 62 domestic destinations and 24 international destinations.
CEO Ronojoy Dutta said that the airline was on a continuous mission to build the best airline system in the world. “This means customers should be able to travel by air, easily and affordably, between all the cities and towns across the country. Hence, we plan to open seven more stations on our network which include Leh, Darbhanga, Agra, Kurnool, Bareilly, Durgapur and Rajkot,” he said.
Indigo hopes that operating in these stations will boost economic growth in these regions, while providing access to customers to the safest mode of transportation, as Tier II cities lead growth and recovery for the nation.”