Low-cost airlines, the pioneers of brief discomfort at bargain prices, have struggled to master long-haul flights. Now one of the world’s most successful budget carriers is considering cut-price business class seats as a way into the Europe-Asia market. IndiGo, which currently flies as far as Istanbul, is mapping out an ambitious long-distance network. The airline aims to start one-stop trips further into Europe within six months. Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta’s long-haul plans are forcing a product overhaul to help passengers endure longer flights and he’s considering everything from extra snacks to a brand-new business class.
- AirAsia X Bhd., the Malaysian long-haul, low-cost airline, opted to focus on Asia after on-off services to London, although it still flies to a Honolulu, via a stop in Osaka. The airline offers premium seats with extra legroom, meals and in-flight entertainment.
- Scoot, the budget unit of Singapore Airlines, offers long-haul flights to Athens and Berlin. Its “Scootbiz” class on Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner jets provides leather seats, more legroom, additional carry-on bags, welcome drinks and one additional alcoholic beverage. Business-class flyers on Scoot are also able to charge their mobile gadgets on board, and can stream movies on their own devices.
- IndiGo already flies to 53 domestic and 18 international destinations and plans to deploy about half of its new capacity on international routes, Dutta said.
- A business-class section at IndiGo, which is operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., would follow low-cost Indian rival SpiceJet Ltd., which just started offering premium seats, picking up Boeing Co. 737 jets already equipped with the configuration.
- Though it is still not clear what IndiGo’s business class would potentially offer or how much it might cost, the airlines’ biggest challenge is that of meeting the expenses of fuel as the prices are soaring high in to the sky.
To make holiday season more special, IndiGo is also offering attractive discounts up to 30% on pre-paid excess baggage and pre-paid express check-in service.” Passengers can avail the all-inclusive fares starting at Rs 999 for travel between May 29th -September 28th on domestic and international routes, the airline said in a statement. The routes include Delhi-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Hyderabad, Hyderabad-Dubai, Chennai-Kuwait, Delhi-Kuala Lumpur and Bengaluru among etc.