We think the religion at Indigo is to keep fares low, get in the customer, fill-up the planes and get more planes, says Rahul Bhatia,MD,Interglobe Enterprises.
Profit making low-cost carrier Indigo Airlines has ruled out any immediate plans of going public.
In a rare media interaction, Indigo Airlines founder and managing director of parent firm Interglobe Enterprises, Rahul Bhatia said the company shared its yearly numbers to dispel rumours that the Idigo story was unreal, reports CNBC-TV18’s Ronojoy Banerjee.
Bhatia also said the economic environment has forced airlines to push up air fares and questions AirAsia chief's promises of offering free tickets.
Indigo Airlines is the only profitable airline in the country. It made Rs 787 crore in FY13, is a perfect case study on how to survive and thrive even when the going gets tough.
The low-cost carrier has lined up expansion plans, which includes buying smaller aircrafts and increasing fleet size to a total of 85 by 2014 and expanding into smaller cities like Surat. The company says it has no immediate plans to tap the markets for funds.
On that Rahul Bhatia, MD Interglobe said: "Is it going to happen tomorrow? No I don't think so. Maybe over time but is it imminent? We don't think so?"
Bhatia maintains that despite the recent spike in air fares, Indigo remains committed to the low cost model. However, he rules out cutting prices to fight competition and is disdainful of promises by Tony Fernandes to offer "zero fare tickets" once AirAsia commences flying within India.
"We think the religion at Indigo is to keep fares low, get in the customer, fill-up the planes and get more planes. The only way Indigo can keep growth profile for 20-30 years is by keeping airfares low. Future is very bright. Good luck to competition," said Bhatia
But Bhatia, like Fernandes, is no fan of the rule that allows only those airline companies to fly overseas that have a minimum of 20 aircrafts and experience of five years. Bhatia says the rule is "artificial" and would welcome Aviation ministry's move to scrap it.
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