Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic almost every industry across the globe has taken a hit, The aviation industry, however, is one of the most affected sectors worldwide. Different airlines have taken different measures to ensure they have enough money in the bank to get through this pandemic. This includes either retiring aircraft earlier than scheduled or deferring deliveries of new aircraft among other things. However, these possibilities don’t seem to be of use for IndiGo, India’s biggest low-cost carrier (in terms of passengers carried).
IndiGo has decided to go ahead with its aggressive expansion strategy by adding new aircraft into its fleet and retiring the old ones (i.e A320ceos). IndiGo took delivery of 3 brand new A320neo on 7th July, 2020. These 3 brand new aircraft flew in from Airbus' manufacturing units in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. The registration of these aircraft are VT-ISC (A320neo), VT-IJZ (A320neo) and VT-IUT (A321neo). In total, IndiGo had taken delivery of 4 A321neo and 4 A320neo aircraft last month, according to data grouped by AeroNewsX.
To survive this pandemic, IndiGo has been exploring almost every available option to generate revenue. It has also started flying to international destinations under the “Vande Bharat” mission to rescue the stranded Indians abroad. According to the Economic Times, IndiGo is expected to report a loss of about USD366 million for the quarter ending June 2020. In order to trim costs, the airline had to extend its LWP (leave without pay) program for its employees and also had to layoff a number of staff.
IndiGo was the only Indian airline which provided full salaries to all its employees during the lockdown. Once the lockdown was lifted and operations commenced, however, the airline couldn’t earn much from the flights it operated as after a day or two of resuming normal operations the load factor fell drastically and it had to implement measures like LWP and salary-cuts in order to stay afloat.
IndiGo is known to have surplus pilots as it had very aggressive expansion plans, but this unprecedented pandemic might have forced the airline to reconsider.