The airline had originally planned to start the service from November 10 and had sought permission to operate 85 daily flights with ATR aircraft connecting 13 towns in winter schedule. However, it was unable to obtain slots at the Delhi and Mumbai airports in the winter schedule forcing it to tweak its plans. Also it was forced to look for pilots from within its Airbus fleet due to a shortage of trained ATR captains in the country.
“With the introduction of these flights IndiGo has taken another step towards providing on time and hassle free experience to the passengers of tier II and III cities as well. IndiGo is introducing new ATR flights on its existing network which includes Chennai-Mangalore, Hyderabad-Mangalore and Hyderabad-Nagpur. These new routes will further consolidate IndiGo's position as the fastest growing airline in India,” the airline said in a statement.
IndiGo also will bid for new routes in the second round of regional connectivity scheme bidding.
In May, IndiGo announced a provisional order for 50 ATR-72 planes valued at $1.3 billion at list prices. This is the second largest order of ATR-72 planes till date-the previous record order was from American Eagle airlines for 100 ATR-72 (50 firm plus 50 options) in 1990. The airline is yet to sign a purchase contract for the aircraft.