In a letter to employees, IndiGo’s president and wholesome director Aditya Ghosh categorically stated that the airline’s interest in Air India’s disinvestment process was in obtaining the latter’s much sought after international routes.
“Our interest in Air India is primarily in its international operations,” wrote Ghosh, a day after the government said that IndiGo had expressed “unsolicited interest” in Air India. IndiGo had sent a letter on the same to the union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, which the airline has now made public on the bourses.
“Over the past decade, we have created a significant domestic network and that gives us the confidence to build a world class international airline in the scale and scope of some of the largest airlines in the world,” said Ghosh in his letter to employees.
IndiGo’s interest in Air India’s international operations is quite palpable given the data at hand. According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, in the January to March period of this year international air passenger traffic (to and from India) was 14.20 million. Of that, five Indian carriers namely Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet accounted for 39 percent of the market or had carried 5.46 million passengers. And amongst the domestic carriers Air India and its international budget subsidiary Air India Express carried 2.4 million passengers, accounting for 17 percent of the overall international air passenger traffic.
“Without our domestic feed network, it just does not make sense to embark on this journey and if we do go down this path, it would require significant restructuring of the acquired operations,” said Ghosh. And added, “In that journey, we are not going to take on debts and liabilities that could not be supported by the new restructured operations.” He also assured employees that IndiGo would never do anything to “jeopardize what you helped build and will always act in the best interest of IndiGo!”