Indian airline Indigo adds Nairobi route in global expansion


A file picture showing an IndiGo Airbus A320 aircraft. FILE PHOTO | AFP

Indian airline Indigo has announced plans to add six new destinations across Asia, and Africa in an international expansion strategy in early August that will raise competition against players, including Kenya Airways.

The airline listed on the National Stock Exchange of India said it is adding 174 new weekly international flights between June and September 2023, including new destinations, routes, and frequencies, catering to the rising demand for international travel from, to and via India.

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Starting from Mumbai Airport, the airline will launch direct flights to Nairobi, Kenya, and Jakarta, Indonesia.

“It will connect Nairobi, Kenya and Jakarta, Indonesia, with direct flights from Mumbai in late July / early August. Delhi will be connected in August to Tbilisi, Georgia (3x) & Baku, Azerbaijan (4x) and in September to Tashkent, Uzbekistan (4x), and Almaty, Kazakhstan (3x),” said Indigo in a statement.

Kenya Airways (KQ) also serves the Nairobi-Mumbai route.

IndiGo currently flies to 26 international destinations with 75 international city pairs.

“The addition of these exciting new destinations … and strategic codeshare partnerships, will help us expand our footprint across four continents with Africa and Central Asia being penetrated for the first time,” said Mr Pieter Elbers, the chief executive officer, IndiGo.

“With this expansion in our network, we will now be directly touching 32 international destinations (up from 26), next to our 78 domestic destinations.”

Indigo’s fleet of over 300 aircraft, operating over 1800 daily flights and connecting 78 domestic destinations and 26 international destinations plans to offer affordable charges to compete with Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates among others along the route to Mumbai.

A round trip from Nairobi to Mumbai and vice versa using Emirates on July 31st and returning on 1st August will cost you Sh101,255 per adult at the lowest price, Sh81,435 for KQ and Sh80,380 for Air India.

Kenya Airways currently operates two daily nonstop frequencies on the Mumbai-Nairobi route but IndiGo does not have any competition on flights to Jakarta.

IndiGo is yet to confirm the schedule, or prices for these new routes but the flights will begin sometime in late July or early August.

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The carrier also plans on increasing frequencies to the Mumbai-Dhaka route and offering international flights from other Indian airports like Bhubaneshwar and the newly inaugurated Manohar International Airport (GOX) in North Goa.

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