India’s IndiGo to start overseas flights

CEAT Kelani Holdings Managing Director Ravi Dadlani (right) and Lanka Ashok Leyland CEO Umesh Gautham exchange the OEM agreement

NEW DELHI, January 20, 2011 (AFP) – India’s ambitious budget airline IndiGo will start international operations in August, the company said in a statement, a week after it placed a huge order for 180 new aircraft. The aviation ministry has approved IndiGo’s proposal to launch services to Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and Muscat.

“IndiGo is delighted to receive these important traffic rights and is grateful to the ministry of civil aviation for approving its application in a timely manner,” IndiGo said on Wednesday.

“This will hasten the process of Indian carriers taking back some of the market share that has been lost over the past many decades to foreign carriers.”

Privately-owned IndiGo is the rising star in the booming Indian industry, which saw passenger numbers leap 25 percent year on year in November 2010.

It currently has a fleet of 34 Airbus planes and offers 221 daily flights to 24 destinations across India. The company’s $15 billion deal to buy 180 A320 aircraft is the largest number of Airbus planes ever bought in a single order.

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