India’s IndiGo Airlines announced its first international routes to begin in September, and there aren’t any surprises in the bunch. Airlines in India need to fly domestically for 5 years before they are permitted to fly internationally, and IndiGo is using this opportunity to fly some routes once a day that already have very heavy competition on them. To wit:
Delhi-Dubai, where they are the 5th carrier on the route that will now have 9 daily flights.
Delhi -Bangkok, 8th carrier, 51 weekly flights.
Delhi-Singapore, 4th carrier, 5th daily route
Mumbai-Bangkok, 8th carrier, 48 weekly flights
Mumbai-Dubai, 4th carrier and 10 daily flights
(Thanks to Airline Routes for the data)
To be fair, Indians require a visa in advance to all but a handful of destinations (including those above), so airlines tend to focus on the same routes. IndiGo is going to try to grab traffic by offering some pretty reasonable fares (Rs 9999, or about $225, round trip), so that should help. But the pattern in India for new routes has been for airlines to cut fares to unprofitably low levels, then hope to drive the other airline out of business (or into a merger, which only makes them stronger).