Indigo reshuffles South-East Asia, cuts BOM/DEL-SIN and BKK

While there is no official announcement from Indigo on this, they have apparently pruned their Singapore operations from Mumbai and Delhi, as well as Mumbai to Bangkok. Reservations for BOM-SIN-BOM (6E051/052), DEL-SIN-DEL (6E011/012) are closed for flights from 1st March 2013. Also, Indigo is closing Mumbai – Bangkok route and reservations on 6E071/072 have been closed.

It looks like Indigo could not keep up with being an unknown brand in the other market. Using just a web-based ticketing system, Indigo is not present on the Global Distribution Systems such Amadeus & Sabre which are used by Travel Agents worldwide to source and issue tickets. Over the years, on the Singapore route, there have been flights offered by Air India, Jet Airways and Singapore Airlines who offer multiple frequencies in a day to cater to the business traveller as well as leisure traveller. Also, these airlines operate widebodies such as A330s/B777s on these routes mostly, while Indigo used to serve with a A320 in this market.

And while they had a good brand presence in India, in the other parts of the world, Indigo is a relatively unknown airline. This led to lower loads on their planes on the reverse legs such as SIN-BOM and SIN-DEL. Bangkok as a market is served by multiple players again, including Thai Airways.

Indigo, however is not shutting down these stations altogether but moving to serve less serviced routes. For instance, it launched Kolkata – Bangkok in December 2012, and is launching Chennai – Singapore from March 1, 2013. Chennai – Singapore is a high traffic route that Indigo can trust the consolidators to fill for it. The airline is offering an all inclusive return fare of Rs 15,998 as an introductory offer on this route.

Only 18 months into flying international, Indigo sure does know it takes a while to build brand equity and service quality in a new market. I would also think this did not come as a knee-jerk reaction however, it might have something to do with Indigo looking at operating losses in its books.

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  1. Have traveled BOM-SIN on Indigo a couple of times, it was a decent offering at the price levels which Indigo offered. Too bad they are discontinuing it.

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