Indigo may soon charge flyers for check-in baggage: Report
New Delhi, Nov 17: IndiGo, one of Asia's biggest budget carriers, may soon charge passengers for checked-in luggage as the airline prepares for a potentially fierce price war in India's cutthroat air travel market, a report in Bloomberg said.
IndiGo joins Go Airlines India Limited, which has been trying to establish itself as an ultra-low cost carrier to reduce baggage charges from air tickets.
In an interview, Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta said regulatory caps on fares and capacity related to Covid prevented IndiGo from taking a decision at that time.
"We have been talking to the government about that," Dutta said. "We're waiting for everything to settle down before we lock something."
The airline, didn't implement the so-called unbundling of fares in February even as the aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said in a circular that Domestic flight operators are allowed to give concessions in ticket prices to passengers who carry no baggage or only cabin baggage.
"Frankly, I don't think we need it now because of no third wave, and revenue is coming back," Dutta was quoted in the report.
While the carrier mulled over wide-body operations for a long time, it has decided it won't compete with Vistara - a joint venture between Singapore Airlines Ltd. and the Tata Group - which as a full-service carrier has a stronger foothold in the long-haul market along with Air India Ltd., Dutta said.
Even so, IndiGo will expand its international routes faster than domestic to capture the surge in traffic flowing in and out of India in the seven-hour range where there are not enough non-stop flights, including to cities including Moscow, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Nairobi, Bali, Beijing and Manila, Dutta said. International routes will account for 40% of the carrier's capacity in five years, up from the current 25%, he said.