CHETANA ‘S BACHELOR
TOPIC: Indigo Airlines
Class: S.Y.B.M.S. (B)
Nitesh M. Gothankar
Abhinav J. Patel
Sumith S. Singh
IndiGo was set up in early 2006 by RakeshGangwal and Rahul Bhatia, of Inter Globe
Enterprises. Inter Globe holds 51.12% stake in IndiGo and 48% is held by Caelum
Investments, a Virginia, US based firm, run by RakeshGangwal.
IndiGo placed a firm order of 100 Airbus A320-200 aircraft during June 2005 in plans to
commence operations in mid2006. Former US Airways Executive vice-President and
Marketing and Planning Bruce Ashby joined IndiGo as its Chief Executive Officer. The
airline already acquired parking lots for its brand new aircraft at
both Mumbai and Delhi airports. By the time they announced the first flight, they had already
scheduled their first 20 aircraft.
IndiGo took delivery of its first Airbus A320-200 aircraft on 28 July 2006, nearly one year
after placing the order, and commenced operations on 4 August 2006 with a service
from New Delhi to Imphal via Guwahati. By the end of 2006, the airline had six aircraft.
Nine more aircraft were acquired in 2007 taking the total to 15. By December 2010, IndiGo
replaced the state run flag carrier Air India as the top third airline in India. It already had a
17.3% of the market share, behind Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways.
Following Indian regulations, in January 2011 IndiGo received its license to operate
international flights upon completing five years of operations. IndiGo's first international
service was launched between New Delhi and Dubai on 1 September 2011. Over the
following weeks, the international services were expanded to serve Bangkok, Singapore,
Muscat and Kathmandu from New Delhi and Mumbai. On February 15, 2012, the civil
aviation ministry of India has lifted the barriers on the carrier when was set over a year ago to
defend the sinking national flag carrier Air India from competition on the International
routes. The ministry announced that IndiGo's proposals to fly to Dammam and Doha would
get cleared immediately. IndiGo is known to have applied for permission to fly to these two
cities several months ago and wasn't approved because of the barrier.
By early 2012, IndiGo had taken the delivery of its 50th aircraft in less than 6 years. IndiGo is
known to have placed the largest order in commercial aviation history during 2011, when
Airbus won the US$ 15 billion deal for 180 aircraft. This deal pushed up the percentage of
Airbus aircraft in India to 73%.
As of February 2012, IndiGo was expanding rapidly and was making solid profits, the only
airline in India to do so. It had replaced Kingfisher as the second largest airline in India in
terms of market share. IndiGo's strong adherence to the low cost model, buying only one type
of aircraft and keeping operational costs as low as possible along with heavy emphasis on
punctuality are said to be some of the reasons for its success even when the airline industry in
India is currently going through a bad patch. IndiGo focuses on adding a new plane every six
weeks and sometimes even faster. However, this rapid expansion had led to a scathing report
by the DGCA in December 2011, which highlighted problems in the airline which could
impact safety due to rapid expansion.
SriLankan Engineering, a subsidiary of the Sri Lankan flag carrier SriLankan
Airlines recently won the contract of performing heavy maintenance checks on 26 of the 50
Airbus A320-200 operated by IndiGo. SriLankan has been receiving contracts for the past 4
years to perform maintenance checks on IndiGo aircraft. IndiGo is believed to outsource its
aircraft to SriLankan because of the unbearable tax imposed on the local MRO providers
making them unfavourable when compared to the MRO providers in Sri Lanka.
India is one of the fastest growing aviation industries in the world. Because of the
introduction of liberalization policy in the Indian aviation sector, the industry has witnessed
difference with the entry of the privately owned full service airlines and low cost carriers. In
2006, the private carriers accounted for around 75% share of the domestic aviation market.
Besides, there was significant increase in the number of domestic air travel passengers. Some
of the factors that have resulted in higher demand for air transport in Indian clued the
growing purchasing power of middle class, low airfares offered by low cost carriers and the
growth of the tourism industry in India. In addition to the liberalization policy, the
deregulation policy has also played a major role to encourage private players in the aviation
industry. Below graph shows the gradual growth in the domestic air traffic: The growth in the
aviation industry looked promising and hence attracted many low cost carriers like Spice Jet,
Go Air and IndiGo after the success of Air Deccan in 2003
.On one hand, the booming opportunities incited players to expand capacity but on the other
hand, rising fuel costs and taxation rates, increased the operational costs. Thus the low-cost
players found it difficult to maintain their commitment. In their urge to survive, they were
compelled to increase prices, add free refreshments and beverages on-board, etc. Some
players sought refuge in mergers, whereas some survived by modifying their business model.
However, amidst this aviation turmoil, IndiGo continued to fly high. In its endeavour to
consistently maintain low costs, IndiGo resorted to measures like outsourcing and having
homogeneous fleet. These efforts helped IndiGo to offer its passengers low air fares. Indigo is
the latest entrant as a low cost carrier in the aviation industry of India. It started its operations
on August 4, 2006. InterGlobe Enterprises, a renowned travel corporation, is the owner of
IndiGo. The IndiGo team uses all of these resources to design processes and rules that are
safe and simple, that make sense, and that cut waste and hassles, which in turn ensures a
uniquely smooth, seamless, precise, gimmick-free customer experience at fares that are
always affordable. It was awarded the title of
„Best Domestic Low Cost Carrier‟
In India for 2008. The airline currently operates 120 daily flights with a fleet of nineteen
brand new Airbus A320 aircraft and flies to 17 destinations. IndiGo plans to serve
approximately 30Indian cities by 2010, with a fleet of approximately 40 A320s.
Below are the key factors of the business model of IndiGo airlines:
A single passenger class.
Single type of airplane to reduce training and service cost.
No frills such as free food/drinks, lounges.
Emphasis on direct sale of ticket through Internet to avoid fee and commissions paid
to travel agents.
Employees working in multiple roles.
Unbundling of ancillary charges to make the headline fare lower. In this report, we will
analyse what strategies IndiGo followed to enter the aviation industry. Also, we will discuss
how IndiGo implemented the low cost strategy to gain competitive advantage and provide
recommendations to sustain its competitive position in the long-term. To know about the
industry attractiveness of aviation and the factors that helped IndiGo enter this market, we
will use the Porter‟s Five Forces model. This will be useful in gaining insight about the entry
barriers, power of buyers and suppliers, competition among the existing players and the
feasible alternatives in aviation industry. SWOT analysis of the company will help us
understand the current positioning of the company based on the analysis of external and
internal environments. For internal analysis, we will study the criteria for sustainable
competitive advantage as well as the Value Chain Analysis. This will help identify the
strengths and weaknesses of the company. Further, the analysis of government policies,
competitor‟s strategies and other variables like fuel prices, increasing domestic traffic,
economic downturn etc. will lead us to the external influences that affect the aviation industry
of India. Hence, using the external environment study, we can come to know about the
opportunities and threats for IndiGo airlines. Thus, the consequences and influence of the all
factors of SWOT taken together will aid in the formulation of alternative strategic actions that
IndiGo may consider to sustain its competitive advantage.
Indian domestic sector
On Time Performance, Lowest Price
Cost Conscious Passengers
Lower Middle Class / Middle Class
Low Cost No Frills
The objective of this report is to study the external environment of the Aviation Industry in
India. Subsequently, internal environment analysis is conducted for IndiGo Airlines. With the
help of this comprehensive study, we have suggested recommendations that can be adopted
by IndiGo to sustain its competitive advantage by utilizing its cost leadership strategy.
To understand the important factors responsible for the formulation of corporate strategy, we
have utilized Strategic Management tools like Porter‟s Five Forces model, Value Chain
analysis, TOWS matrix etc.
Due to confidentiality clause and corporate policies of the company, accurate financial data
could not be obtained for IndiGo Airlines. However, most recent and reliable data sources
have been referenced for the analysis of this case.
IndiGo airlines entered the low cost carrier market in aviation industry in 2006. It has been
able to achieve its break even within two years of its launch and has reported gross revenue
of 60 cores this year. Despite the decline in the aviation industry and global economic
slowdown, IndiGo has accelerated its growth rate. Also, IndiGo being a new entrant has
managed to become a cost leader in its sector
IndiGo says passenger safety its mission
New Delhi - Low cost carrier IndiGo Monday said it has not flouted any safety norms by not
reporting incidents of flight duty times of airlines' personnel or occurances of snags, which
were mentioned in a report by the aviation watchdog.
"IndiGo is a very quality conscious airline and passenger safety is paramount to our
company‟s mission and values," the Gurgaon-based airline said in a statement.
IndiGo was responding to reports which said the financial audit conducted by Directorate
General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had rapped the budget carrier for flouting various safety
norms by not reporting flight duty time limitation (FDTL) for pilots and cabin crews.
The audit found that 35 incidents of FDTL were not reported coupled with many instances of
IndiGo said the FDTL incidents occurred due to reasons such as weather, traffic congestion
and flight diversions.
"These 35 FDTL issues occurred over 74,500 flights operated by IndiGo from January to
October 2011. We would like to reiterate that these FDTL's occur due to unavoidable
circumstances such as weather, traffic congestion and flight diversions."
The watchdog's report criticised IndiGo for instructing its pilots not to report small incidents
and that the airline faced a severe shortage of training examiners for pilots.
The examiners review the performance and technical knowledge of serving as well as trainee
IndiGo said it had hired more pilots and training examiners than the normal hiring ratios.
"We have consciously over-hired pilots, especially highly trained and experienced pilots and
training captains, far more than the normal hiring ratios."
On other allegations that the DGCA reviewed the fleet induction plans of IndiGo because of
its rapid expansion plan, the airline said: "IndiGo is in line with the „strategic plan of the
ministry of civil aviation (MOCA) for 2010-15‟, which recognizes the need for growth."
"The government policy fully supports the need for additional capacity in the air transport
segment to meet the growing needs of the travelling public."
The airline plans to expand its fleet to 55 aircraft from a fleet of 48 aircraft in December
IndiGo to go ahead with fleet expansion
New Delhi - Low cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo Tuesday said a possible review of its fleet
expansion by the aviation regulator would not hinder the induction plan and it will add 12
aircraft by the end of 2012.
"We will be adding 12 aircraft in the current year. We had a fleet of 48 aircraft in December
2011 and this number will reach 60 aircraft in December 2012," AdityaGhosh, president,
IndiGo Airlines, told reporters here.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in its latest financial audit report had
rapped the airline for flouting mandatory safety norms and said it could review the company's
fleet expansion plan.
"The fast growth induction plan of fleet in the organisation also needs to be reviewed in view
of the serious findings recorded in the audit report," said the watchdog.
According to Ghosh, the company's fleet expansion plan would not be hindered by any
"Our fleet expansion plan will not be hindered. India which has a billion people and around
500 million middle class need more aircraft than 400 (aircraft)."
"This business requires more aircraft. With only 400 aircraft how can there be over capacity
in a country of a billion people?"
Earlier, the airline had placed an order for 180 aircraft from Airbus Industries worth $15.6
billion last year.
IndiGo was also criticised by in the audit for 35 incidents of violations of flight duty time
limitation (FDTL) for pilots and cabin crews, and many instances of snags.
The company had defended itself by saying the FDTL violation incidents occurred due to
reasons such as weather, traffic congestion and flight diversions.
IndiGo is the only profit making airline in the country, with a market share of 19.8 percent in
To be honest, we really didn‟t want this ad to be on this side of the table.
Having fawned over it for a week, not ranking it as one of the top three hurts
us. But there is a reason behind this decision; we might like the creative, but
then it has to also be ranked from the perspective of how well it was
comprehended by the target audience. You see, for the whole first week we
coincidentally saw this ad on muted TV sets (in our office), thus getting
attracted by the visuals and visuals alone; with which we still don‟t find any
fault. In fact, the concept of a flight crew doing a charged up Broadway
musical to explain the vision and mission of the airline along with its working
procedure, advantages, expertise and a subtle brief on the services that it
provides makes for a very interesting watch (but of course, copied from the
Facebook ad). Wieden has adopted a very fresh approach to airline advertising;
moving away from the industry standard of showcasing the aircraft fleet with
the crew donning a very professional and boring run of the mill demeanor. Not
only is it drawing everybody‟s attention, but it has also managed to reach out
to its target audience – the well bred frequent fliers – and convince them to at
least give them a chance. It scores huge on brand recall; but some would argue
that the commercial is a tad too long. And if you happen to be in front of the
TV for more than an hour a day, chances are you would have seen this
commercial several times and that is when it starts to lose its appeal – although
the girls featured look as attractive the nth time as they did the first time (duh!
but yes, we love them!). Add to it the fact that there‟s practically no levity.
Outstanding cinematography, super positioning, zero humour, and they missed
the top 3!
Airline Industry Attractiveness
1. Foreign equity allowed:
Foreign equity up to 49 per cent and NRI (Non-Resident Indian) investment up to 100per
cent is permissible in domestic airlines without any government approval2.
Attraction of foreign shores:
After five years of domestic operations, many domestic airlines too will be entitled to fly
overseas by using unutilised bilateral entitlements to Indian carriers.3.
Rising income levels and demographic profile:
Demographically, India has the highest percentage of people in age group of 20-50among its
50 million strong middle class, with high earning potential.4.
Untapped potential of India's tourism:
Tourist arrivals in India are expected to grow exponentially, especially due to the open sky
policy between India and the SAARC countries and the increase in bilateral entitlements with
European countries, and US.
Glamour of the airlines:
No industry other than film-making industry is as glamorous as the airlines. Airline tycoons
from the last century, like J. R. D. Tata and Howard Hughes, and Sir Richard Branson and
Rd. Vijay Mallya today, have been idolized.
Porter’s Five Forces strategy for Airline Industry
1. Threat of New Entrants
In low cost carriers, there is not much differentiation in the basic service that is being
provided to the customers. Differentiation can only be achieved by Value Added Services.
IndiGo provides check-in kiosks, stair-free ramps, and “Q-Busters”. Hence this argument
works in favour of IndiGo.
The switching cost is not high. Customers can easily choose other low cost carriers.
The switching cost of an airline company to other business/industry is high as the exit
cost is high
In aviation industry the major entry barriers can be:
1. The government's open sky policy has encouraged many overseas players to enter the
2.Aviation was primarily a government owned industry. Due to liberalisation Indian aviation
industry is now dominated by privately owned full-service airlines and low-cost carriers.
Private airlines account for around 75 per cent share of the domestic aviation market.
Indian Civil Aviation Policy:
Private sector is allowed to operate scheduled and non-scheduled services.
Operator should be a citizen of India or a company or a body corporate which is registered in
India and whose principal base of business is in India.
Chairman and at least two –thirds of its Directors are Indian citizens.
Foreign equity participation up to 49 present and investment by Non- Resident Indians
(N.R.I), Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) up to 100% is allowed. Their presentation of the
foreign investing institution/entity on the Board of Directors of the company shall not exceed
one-third of the total.7.
Foreign airlines are not permitted to pick up equity. Foreign financial institutions and other
entities who seek to hold equity in the domestic air transport sector shall not have foreign
airlines as their shareholders.8.
As regards safety and security arrangements, the operators must ensure compliance with
relevant regulatory requirements stipulated respectively by the Director General of Civil
Aviation (DGCA) and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).9.
For green field airports, foreign equity up to 100 percent is allowed through automatic
approvals. For upgrading present airports, foreign equity up to 74 percent is allowed through
automatic approvals and 100 percent through special permission (from FIPB).
Nowadays, venture capital of $10 million or less is enough to launch an airline.
In order to overcome the shortfall of aircrafts during the peak seasons, airlines can utilize an
ACMI lease agreement for the extra aircraft. If the airline has many aircrafts, either owned or
leased, then they can offer their surplus aircrafts in their low season to another airline that is
facing peak season.
An airline company will bear the cost of purchasing an aircraft if it wants to start or expand
its fleet, leasing allows the cost to be spread across several years. At the lease term end, the
lease can be renewed or aircraft can be returned, to be replaced with more modern aircraft.
Domestic ATF prices have increased by over 160 per cent from the beginning of 2005 till last
year and by over 80 per cent from a year-ago levels. In India, oil companies do not import
ATF directly; instead they refine it from imported crude oil. With rising crude oil prices,
imports are becoming expensive day by day and at the same time, the government is unable
to pass on the full impact of this rise to the consumer. As a result, the state-owned oil
marketing companies (almost 95 per cent of the market is with state owned firms) are forced
to sell diesel, petrol, kerosene and LPG at way below cost, a cost they are trying to somewhat
make up by raising the price of ATF, which is under their control. As a result prices of ATF
in India are much higher than some of the other Asian countries.
The aviation industry in India suffers a shortfall of pilots. The reasons are:
The aspirants can receive Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) only if they undertake a training
The reason being that in India, there is a lack of dedicated flight Instructors, decade-old
aircrafts and poor quality training offered at a price much higher than what is offered by
flying schools in USA, Canada and Australia.
Indian institutes provide training with the help of their training partners in the foreign
countries like U.S.A, U.K etc. Private airlines hire pilots; get expatriates or retired personnel
from the Air Force or PS airlines in senior management positions. Airlines can contract
employees such as cabin crew, ticketing and check-in staff members. In airline sector, finding
appropriate labour-force is very costly. Moreover, due to the liberalization of policies by
government, foreign and private players often poach work-force of competitors which leads
to talent-drain and thus losses.
2. Bargaining Power of Suppliers.
Any airlines in general face a duopoly of two major suppliers of aircrafts i.e. Airbus and
Boeing. There are other suppliers like Dauphin,Dronier,Bell,ATR-42 but do not meet the
requirements to serve the low cost commercial aircraft carriers, particularly Indigo airlines.
Fleet Forecast for the India-Region 2006-2011 shows that there will
Be approx. 85% growth in the order rate of air carriers
. Thus, suppliers are few and thus in better position to bargain as they always finds customers
for their aircrafts.
IndiGo fleet comprise of Airbus-A320 and the switching cost is high due to the
limited number of suppliers.
Due to shortage of commercial aircraft pilots in India the supply of pilots is
concentrated, hence increasing their power.
There are only four suppliers for ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel); IOC, Hindustan
Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and ONGC and since their number is
limited, they possess more power.
The proof of evidence for high power enjoyed by ATF suppliers lies in the fact that
the ATF prices constitute 35-40% of the costs in India compared to 20-25% globally.
The brand value of suppliers is high due to their less number and results in higher
bargaining power for them.
The airlines also face a threat of forward integration since the suppliers are in close
contact and are familiar with the knowhow of the aviation industry.
The suppliers are few and thus in better position to bargain as they always finds
customers for their aircrafts.
3. Bargaining Power of Buyers
Buyers in airlines industry are large in number and highly fragmented thus lowering
their power .With the growing Indian economy and increasing low cost carriers, the
buyers have increased and so have the growth opportunities.
The switching cost is minimal since there are multiple alternatives available. It is not
difficult to move from one airline to another or to switch to a substitute.
Furthermore the players in the particular strategic group do have minimalistic
Backward integration from the buyers end is very difficult and next to impossible.
4. Competitive Rivalry
The aviation industry is a highly competitive industry because of which it is difficult to earn
high returns in this sector. Below are the major reasons for the high competition in the lowcost carrier airlines:
Very little scope for differentiation between competitors‟ products and services
Aviation is a mature industry with very little growth. The only way to grow is by
stealing away customers from competitors
Suppliers of aircrafts are the same, i.e., Boeing and Airbus. Hence supplier‟s
bargaining power is high.
Switching cost of customers is high for low cost carriers, i.e., there is no brand
loyalty. Closest competitor of IndiGo is Spice Jet followed by Go Air
. Below is brief description about each of them:
Is a low-cost airline based in New Delhi, India? Spice Jet‟s mission is to become India‟s
preferred low cost airline, delivering the lowest air fares with the highest consumer value, to
price sensitive consumers. Its vision is to ensure that flying is no longer confined to business
travellers, but is affordable for everyone and thus the tagline
„Flying for everyone‟
Spice Jet airways began its operations in May 2005. Spice Jet has chosen a single aircraft
type fleet which allows for greater efficiency in maintenance, and supports the low-cost
structure. It has a fleet of 6 Boeing 737-800 in single class configuration with 189 seats.
Spice Jet‟s new generation fleet of aircraft is backed by cutting edge technology and
infrastructure to ensure the highest standards in operating efficiency. Spice Jet currently flies
to 11 destinations.
Go Air Airlines
, owned by Wadia Group, is a low-cost budget airline based in Mumbai, India. It has been
“The People's Airline”.
Go Air is looking at
'Commoditising air travel'
By offering airline seats at marginally higher train prices to all cities in India. The Airline‟s
theme line is
“Experience the Difference”
and its objective is to offer its passengers quality consistent, quality assured and time efficient
product through affordable fares.GoAir's business model has been created on the
'Punctuality, affordability and convenience'
Model. Go Air operates four A320 aircraft with a single class, 180-seat configuration, and
plans to expand its fleet to 33 aircraft in three years.
Thus, we can summarize from above data that all the three players are trying to follow cost
leadership strategy by bringing down the ticket rates to the minimum possible value.
However, it is clear that, to sustain in this cutthroat competition, each player will have to
come up with different strategies to improve the non-price factors
5. Availability of Substitutes
The substitute for low cost airline company is the railways. But this substitute is not very
powerful due to the following reasons:
Customers use airline transport as it is convenient and saves travelling time. So trains cannot
work as a substitute to save time.
Secondly, many customers use airlines as a status symbol. So again, trains cannot substitute
for prestige. So if we consider IndiGo airlines, the direct substitutes are the other low cost
carrier‟s likeSpiceJet and Go Air. So in this case, threat of substitutes is high as the switching
cost between low cost carriers is low.
IndiGo airlines have not ventured into the huge air freight market which can
contribute a sizeable portion of the revenue. A study by Centre for Asia Pacific
Aviation or CAPA
An aviation consulting firm estimates the cargo services of 3.4million tonnes per
According to a research conducted by Phocis, Indian domestic traffic will touch
86.1million by 2010,up from 32.2 million in 2007
.The flight density of IndiGo airlines is limited in domestic market; hence there is a
big scope to increase the flight frequency
The huge untapped international sectors should be explored once IndiGo has
considerable presence in the domestic market.
IndiGo currently does not have too many long haul aircrafts and as per CAPA study
by 2020, Indian Airports are expected to handle more than 100 million passengers.
Indigo airlines should focus on long haul aircrafts both for domestic and international
The chartered flight services still remain an area not exploited by Indian aviation
industry and IndiGo airlines can play a major role in tapping the potential in that
Opening up of international routes
Largest market share among LCCs in Indian Market
Middle class taking to the skies
ATF (Air Turbine Fuel) prices have increased radically since 2005
Foreign and private players often poach work-force of competitors.
Extensive Government Interference can affect the accountability of the organization.
In aviation industry, government has control over fuel prices, foreign investments
(e.g. FDI policies), tourism laws, taxes etc. This can greatly affect the day to day
business in the airline industry.
Like every other industry, recession has hit aviation industry as well. People have cut
down on tourism and corporate travels have also been slashed down.
The shortage of trained pilots, co-pilots and ground staff is severely limiting the
growth prospects of all the airline companies.
Barriers to exit in aviation industry are high because of high capital investment,
nongovernment restrictions and loss of brand image.
Internal Environment Analysis
Resources, Capabilities and Core Competencies are the key elements of the Internal
Environment. The resources are tangible and intangible.
The airline currently operates 120 daily flights with a fleet of nineteen brand new
AirbusA320 aircraft and flies to 17 destinations.
The human resources are the pilots, crew members and ground staff.2.
No airline can recruit a trainee pilot and directly assign him to fly an airplane carrying
around 500 passengers. The labour-force has to be trained and then assigned with
tasks to perform after proper evaluation.
Porter‟s five forces model does not cover the importance of complementary product.
ATF is the complementary product for airplane and it constitutes approximately
35%of the production costs.
IndiGo is the most reputed low cost carrier due to the following reasons:
On time arrivals is the key differentiating factor for IndiGo Airlines.IndiGo keeps
implementing new and innovative ideas to increase the quality of customer service.
Recent example is: IndiGo has roving “check-in counters” where passengers with only cabin
baggage can check-in with an IndiGo official with handheld device, rather than lining up at
the check-in counter.
It gives the customers the freedom to carry their own eatables and snacks on board.
Compared to the direct competitors, that is, the other low cost carriers like SpiceJet, Jetlite,
etc. IndiGo offers the lowest airfare
IndiGo has amicable relationship with the other organizations that contribute to the value
addition for the service provided to the customers.
IndiGo has engaged many Travel web-portals and regional travel agents with incentives like
booking commissions, etc. There have been no instances of distress between IndiGo and its
other collaborators, that is, suppliers.
Collaboration with hotels: Mumbai-based hotel chain operator Sarovar Hotels and Indigo
Airlines announced a marketing tie-up for frequent travellers.
The arrangement will allow guests staying at select Sarovar Hotels across 26destinations in
India to avail a 10 per cent discount on their next travel booking with Indigo.
While IndiGo flyers can avail up to 25 per cent discount on published room tariff, 10 per cent
discount on holiday stay packages and 10 per cent discount on restaurant dining at select
.Hence IndiGo has a remarkable Social Capital.
IndiGo is a well-known Low Cost Carrier in India. The following points contribute to the
brand awareness of IndiGo:
Advertising using print media like newspapers, billboards, etc.
It may not pay for an advertisement in a newspaper, but has been covered in news for its low
cost strategy implementation.
As IndiGo provides better value added services to the customers, Word of Mouth promotion
also works in its favour.
Good Employee Relationship is a key factor to sustain competitive advantage. Indigo
provides several incentives to its employees. As per the news article published in The Hindu
“IndiGo officials claimed that they have been seeing a healthy growth in passenger numbers
and had no plans to defer delivery of any of the 100 Airbus it has ordered. “Hence, it is
clearly evident from the above statement that IndiGo is optimistic about its long term growth.
Also, it is planning to expand its employee strength and at the same time there is no
indication of downsizing the current staff. Quoted below are some comparisons about the
different approaches implemented by various airlines at the time of recession stated in the
same article: “At a time when several domestic airlines are looking to prune their staff
strength, the Delhi-based low cost airline, IndiGo, is on the lookout for more pilots, cabin
attendants, customer service and airport service agents. ”In the recent past, both Kingfisher
Airlines and Jet Airways have asked their staff to leave. While Jet Airways offered a
“voluntary retirement scheme” to more than 300 of its
Staff, it was also planning to lay off about 1,900 of its staff. In late September, Kingfisher
announced that 300 employees had “parted ways” with the company”
.The above facts show that IndiGo has taken a positive approach while dealing with its loyal
employees at the time of economic slowdown
IndiGo has high brand awareness and brand equity.
Cost leadership: Successful implementation of low cost strategy.
Highly efficient management that ensures high rate of on- time arrivals.
Continuous innovation to improve on non-price factors.
Tie-up with hotels.
Ease of ticket booking for customers.
Only LCC (low cost carrier) to make consistent profits
It has one of the major airlines in India in terms of market share
LCC which has entered international markets has boosted its brand value
Good advertising and marketing strategies have increased its brand recall
Scope of product differentiation is less.
Benefits of the innovations implemented by IndiGo to provide better services to the
customers are short-lived, as these can be easily imitated by the competitors.
IndiGo is not exploring the untapped domestic air cargo market.
Not on too many routes as compared to competitors
Still has to establish itself on international destinations
1. Increase domestic operation
There are a number of initiatives taken up by government to encourage aviation industry,e.g.,
promotion of regional air connectivityOpen Sky policyand policy of Greenfield airports To
expand air connectivity on Tier II and Tier III cities and to promote regional air connectivity
a separate category of permit, Scheduled Air Transport (Regional) Services had been
The `Open Sky' policy encourages the promotion of Regional Airlines, lower fares to make
aviation affordable and remove price monopolies in respect of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF).
The Policy aims to have an approval mechanism for setting up of new airports. Guidelines for
granting technical approvals by various agencies involved in setting up of an airport would be
provided upfront to provide clarity, Airport Authority of India – www.airportsindia.org.in
Airport infrastructure has been undertaken through the PPP route in major metro cities like
Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Modernisation of the Kolkata and Chennai
airports is being undertaken by the AAI.For the non-metro airports AAI is responsible for the
. In addition to this, government has also made plans for the development of airport
infrastructure.35 airports have been selected for this purpose, of these 24 airports would be
taken up for city side development through PPP including maintenance and operation of the
terminal buildings, cargo operations and real estate development
.All these factors indicate towards a favourable environment for growth in the domestic
aviation sector. Hence it would be a wise option for IndiGo to increase its domestic
operations. IndiGo must increase the number of destinations and can start long haul aircrafts.
Currently, IndiGo is concentrating only in domestic passenger flights. However, the
freight/cargo market and charted plane service are the areas that can prove to be good
potential market for IndiGo. As per the reports from an economic survey this year, it was
stated that domestic cargo showed a growth of 14.55%15. Besides, chartered flight services
are an untapped market for IndiGo. Thus, IndiGo has a huge opportunity to expand in both
As inferred from the above two solution analysis, we recommend that IndiGo must increase
its domestic operations by starting flights connecting to new destinations and long haul
flights. As the opportunities are vast for this purpose, the other low cost carriers may also
venture in this area. So using the cost leadership strategy, IndiGo can gain competitive
advantage over its competitors as the first mover. Once the above strategy is successful and
results in promising revenue growth, IndiGo cause extension to freight and chartered services
as the next objective for further expansion
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