IndiGo announced a codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines last year signalling a new international destination, and followed it up with announcing flights to Istanbul onboard their new A321neo. IndiGo Istanbul Delhi would be the longest flights for the airline for the moment. Last month they increased the flights on Delhi – Istanbul to double daily with the second frequency on an A320 since no new A321neo aircraft are delivered yet.
Tomorrow IndiGo’s first Delhi – Istanbul flight will take off. VT-IUA, which is the sole A321neo in IndiGo’s fleet as of now, will operate sector. As we know, Pakistan has closed its airspace for transit flights since February 27, 2019. This has had a massive impact on all airlines including Indian carriers.
Turkish Airlines’ TK 716 is taking a longer route on Istanbul-Delhi sector as they fly down to UAE and enter India just north of Mumbai before heading to Delhi. Same holds for their return journey TK 717 to Istanbul.
IndiGo, for the time being, has announced a stop at Doha for 6E 11 from Delhi to Istanbul. The A321neo will have a technical stop of 1 hour for refuelling at Doha. This will increase the flight time to ten hours. The inbound journey from Istanbul to Delhi will operate non-stop.
IndiGo’s earlier schedule for the flight was,
6E 011 DEL1340-1810IST 321 D
6E 012 IST1945-0415(+1)DEL 321 D
Due to the closure of Pakistan Airspace, it has changed to,
6E 011 DEL1015-1240DOH 321 D
6E 011 DOH 1340-1810IST 321 D
6E 012 IST1945-0525(+1)DEL 321 D
As you can see the outbound journey is now 10:25 hours because of the stop and inbound journey is 7:10 hours up from 6 hours due to the longer route.
From April 1, 2019, IndiGo is planning to operate the outbound journey to Istanbul nonstop hoping that the Pakistan Airspace will open up by that time. But we may never know since they keep on delaying it.
In a nutshell, IndiGo will operate Delhi to Istanbul with a technical stop at Doha till March 31, 2019, for now, due to Pakistan Airspace closure. The inbound journey to Delhi from Istanbul will be non-stop. The airspace closure has increased the flight time on both the legs considerably.
Are you travelling to Istanbul onboard IndiGo’s A321neo? What is the part you are looking forward to the most?