NEW DELHI: IndiGo could have a business class on the Airbus A321 XLR (extra long range) that begin joining its fleet from mid 2024 and will be used for nonstops with a duration of up to 7-8 hours to Europe and Far East.
The budget airline has always had a single class cabin, all economy. It has also shunned ovens on aircraft to keep aircraft light and save fuel, while selling cold meals (not counting pour-hot-water-in-upma) to passengers. But for the long flights that the XLR would used for, the airline is drawing up a different business model.
An IndiGo official said the airline is “considering a two class configuration (business and economy) for the XLR. However, nothing has been decided yet.” The XLR is also most likely to have ovens on board that will enable passengers to buy real hot meals.
The XLR product being designed by IndiGo are for the first budget medium haul nonstops between India and destinations like Paris, Frankfurt, Prague, Moscow, Tokyo and Seoul — a soul preserve of ful service carriers’ (FSC) direct flights.
“If IndiGo gets it right and is able to offer a significant price difference (all inclusive factoring in meals, baggage, seat selection and onboard WiFi) compared to FSCs, it could give the latter a run for their money. It will be interesting to see how Air India, whose revamp is being planned by the Tatas, counter this move of IndiGo. Fortunately the Indian market is so huge that IndiGo and AI won’t need to compete with each other but complement each other,” said an aviation industry insider.




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