IndiGo Enters Medium-Haul Market: Launches Delhi-Istanbul Flight; More International Routes In Offing Representative image of an IndiGo aircraft (@esynckumar/Twitter)

India’s leading budget airline IndiGo has launched a flight on the Delhi-Istanbul route, deploying the A321neo aircraft for the new operation, reports Moneycontrol.com. The airline has also announced plans to better connectivity between Indian cities and countries like China, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, etc using its expanding fleet of A320neo and A321neo aircraft.

"We are looking very seriously into other points in South East Asia, notably the obvious ones of Vietnam and Myanmar. We also want to operate shortly to Saudi Arabia on the west side,” stated the Chief Commercial Officer of IndiGo, William Boulter.

He also pointed out the imbalance in to and fro flight connectivity between India and China; there are only five flights from the former to the latter per week, while the latter has 42 aircraft flying to India weekly. Boulter said that it’s time this issue was addressed.

125 A321neo aircraft in the pipeline for addition to the IndiGo fleet, while the airline also has many more A320neos on order.

Even as the Delhi to Istanbul flight will utilise A321neo aircraft, which has a seating capacity of 222, Boulter clarified that A320neos will be deployed on the routes to China. The latter aircraft has a seating capacity of around 180.

Although this new Delhi-Instanbul flight is currently not a direct flight, it was initially intended to be, lasting seven hours; it has had to make do with a longer route taking 11 hours, which includes a stop at Doha in light of the recent closure of Pakistani airspace following the India-Pakistan military standoff.

Boulter stated that the airline will revert back to making it a direct flight once Pakistan’s airspace is open again.

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