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Air travel bookings at 90-95% of pre-COVID levels: IndiGo CEO

Air travel bookings at 90-95% of pre-COVID levels: IndiGo CEO
The government has allowed 100% domestic capacity and our bookings at this time are 90-95% of pre-COVID levels, says IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta.

Travel

Air travel bookings at 90-95% of pre-COVID levels: IndiGo CEO

The government has allowed 100% domestic capacity and our bookings at this time are 90-95% of pre-COVID levels, says IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta. During pre-pandemic times, the airline had about 1,600 daily flights of which 400 to 450 were international.




Dutta said that currently, IndiGo has about 1,400 daily flights of which nearly 80 are international – the peaks are looking good. However, flight ticket rates could become higher due to rising jet fuel prices and falling rupee.

“Crude has gone from $43 a barrel last October to $84 now. We need some relief on taxes. Fares need to reflect higher fuel price, higher operating cost. Fuel is a problem and fares have to be brought higher,” Dutta explained. “Airlines around the world got some government help. We didn’t get any, which is fine. But excise on fuel (11%) and other indirect taxes in India are very high. Airlines pay 21% indirect tax and this is effectively the highest for any industry in India because we don’t get input tax credit on fuel. This needs to be softened as we are a critical infra player.”


Also Read: COVID-19 pandemic changed travel regulations and preferences: TravClan CEO


IndiGo is also looking at refurbishing its aircraft. As such, the airline has ordered new improved, softer and more comfortable seats for its entire fleet. Dutta said the order has been placed for the new seats. IndiGo is going to start getting the Airbus A321 XLR (extra long range) on which it will do up to seven-hour non-stops to cities like Tel Aviv, Milan and Dusseldorf. The executive said they are finalizing the product for these flights, which will include the new seats, ovens for hot meals and in-seat plug sockets for passengers to keep their personal electronic devices charged during the journey.


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