IndiGo Boss Praises Aviation Regulator, Says Recent Incidents “Not Safety Issues”

IndiGo chief executive Ronojoy Dutta speaking to NDTV on the airlines’ 16 anniversary.

New Delhi:

IndiGo airlines boss Ronojoy Dutta today said India’s aviation regulator has done “a superb job” in diligence lately, claiming that Indigo is “one of the safest airlines in the world as per long-term trends”.

The Chief Executive Officer was speaking to NDTV as the private carrier completed 16 years. About recent incidents involving IndiGo and other airlines, he said, “We have had a couple of incidents on diversions but none of them were safety issues.”

IndiGo was in the news last month after its flight from Sharjah to Hyderabad had to be diverted to Karachi in Pakistan after the pilot reported a technical glitch.ย 

“Our pilots are trained to be super conservative. We like to solve problems on the ground and not in the air,” said Mr Dutta.

He said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) deserves credit: “They are way up in terms of efficiency and competence and diligence.”

To a question about fuel costs going up due to the Ukraine war, he said, “Fuel has been a challenge for us… it has come down a little bit. But our revenue is very strong.”ย 

“If fuel and dollar behave themselves, we can look at a storm of profit,” he added.

On new entrant Akasa Air backed by stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, and any plans of collaboration, he said, “My view is that any company is only as good as its business model. IndiGo has a superbly strong business model. We will not want to mix it up with others.”

To mark its anniversary, IndiGo launched what it calls “Three-Point Disembarkation“, essentially meaning that passengers will now have three ramps, instead of two, to get off the plane, which will save them “7-8 minutes”. This wont’s apply to instances when the plane doors are directly connected to the terminal via an aerobridge.

The airline hopes to eventually save enough time so as to use planes for more flights. “The faster we can turn airplanes around, the more flying we can do,” the CEO said.

Achieving a faster turnaround is critical for low-cost carriers, such as IndiGo, given that the business model involves flying planes for as many hours during the day as possible.ย The usual turnaround time, which is the time the plane spends on the tarmac between landing and taking off again, is anywhere between 30-35 minutes for IndiGo at the moment, company officials said.

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