IndiGo is an Indian low-cost airline set up by Rahul Bhatia of InterGlobe Enterprises and Rakesh Gangwal, a United States-based NRI. InterGlobe holds 51.12% stake in IndiGo, and Caelum Investments, Gangwal’s Virginia-based company, Caelum Investments, 48%.
In June 2005, IndiGo placed a firm order for 100 Airbus A320-200 aircraft with plans to commence operations in mid-2006 and to take delivery of all the 100 aircraft by 2015–2016. However, the airline completed its initial order ahead of schedule when the 100th aircraft was delivered on November 4, 2014.
In July 2006, IndiGo received its first Airbus A320-200 aircraft and commenced operations on August 4, 2006, with a service from New Delhi to Imphal via Guwahati. By the end of the year, the airline had 6 aircraft, and 9 more aircraft were delivered in 2007 taking the total to 15.
By the end of 2010, IndiGo already had 17.3% of the market share, replacing the state-run flag carrier Air India as the third airline in India, behind Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways.
In 2011, IndiGo placed an order for 180 Airbus A320 aircraft, 30 regular A320 and 150 A320neo, a new generation version of the A320 scheduled for delivery from 2016.
In September 2011, after receiving the license to operate international flights, IndiGo launched its first international service between New Delhi and Dubai. The international services were expanded with flights from New Delhi and Mumbai to Bangkok, Singapore, Muscat, and Kathmandu. Now, international flights are also operated from several cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, and Visakhapatnam.
In August 2012, six years after operations commenced, IndiGo became the largest airline in India in terms of market share (27%) surpassing Jet Airways. Strongly adhering to a low-cost model, IndiGo buys only one type of aircraft and keeps operational costs as low as possible along with an emphasis on punctuality. Being a low-cost carrier (LLC), IndiGo offers only Economy Class seating and does not provide on any of its flights in-flight entertainment or complimentary meals (though it does have a buy-on-board in-flight meal programme). Premium services, with additional benefits like a pre-assigned seat and meals on board, are offered at a higher fare.
In 2013, IndiGo was the second fastest growing LLC in Asia, behind Indonesian airline Lion Air. In August 2013, the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation ranked the airline among the 10 biggest low-cost carriers in the world.
In August 2015, IndiGo placed a new order for 250 Airbus A320neo aircraft worth $26.5 billion, the largest single order ever as number of aircraft in Airbus history. The order also provides IndiGo the option to convert some A320neo to A321neo, which have more seats and fly on longer routes. The Airbus A320neo family aircraft will be delivered between 2015 and 2022.
As of September 2015, with a market share of 36.5%, IndiGo is the largest airline in India in terms of passengers flown. IndiGo operates more than 647 daily flights to 39 destinations, 34 in India and 5 international. Its primary hubs are at Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) and Visakhapatnam Airport (Vizag), but the airline also operates from two secondary hubs at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata) and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (Mumbai). IndiGo presently operates a fleet of 98 aircraft belonging to the Airbus A320 family.
In March 2016, IndiGo received its first A320neo aircraft. IndiGo was Airbus’ biggest A320neo customer with a total of 430 aircraft placed in 2011 and 2015. In November 2018, IndiGo switched 125 aircraft of its existing Airbus A320neo order to the longer range A321neo aircraft.
In 2017, IndiGo became the first Indian carrier to operate 1000 flights a day and, with the delivery of the 31st Airbus A320neo aircraft, a fleet of 150 aircraft. IndiGo also took delivery of its first ATR 72 600 aircraft in December.
In 2018, IndiGo continued to expand its international route network to 15 destinations, adding daily non-stop flights to Hong Kong, Male, Phuket, and Kuala Lumpur.
At the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018, IndiGo won the ‘Best Low-Cost Airline in Central Asia & India’ award for the 9th consecutive year. IndiGo, India’s largest passenger airline with a market share of 43.2%, focuses on three pillars – offering low fares, being on-time and delivering a hassle-free experience.
No fatal accidents involving IndiGo aircraft were registered so far.