News Hour Special

The airline that carries India – Rahul Bhatia and IndiGo’s story

Rahul Bhatia has been an influential entrepreneur and has been setting up companies like InterGlobe (1998) and IndiGo. He has taken IndiGo to heights where it has placed him amongst the 50 richest Indians. Not only this, he can also help you book a hotel, and the chances that he runs a restaurant in your city are very high.

A businessman of the 1990s, Rahul Bhatia planned to become a teacher, but landed up with his father, in his travel agency. He initially planned to start a telecom venture, since phones were the increasing trend in India, but was running an airline after that. There were ups and downs during the initial years and the duo lost track of their travel business. But, Bhatia’s vision took all his clients wherever he travelled with his company, InterGlobe Aviation.

IndiGo, Bhatia’s low-cost airline is the biggest in India. Rakesh Gangwal (ex-CEO, US Airways), also played a pivotal role in bringing the company where it stands today. They together strategized to provide better services and save on the costs too. The airline elected to fly fewer destinations, but cover them more intensively, The choices made included booking the Airbus A32NEO, which is fuel-efficient. Shorter routes were used to burn less fuel, along with moderated speed.

The airline grew rapidly with strong foundations of friendships, partnerships and deals. Indigo acquired 100 planes at the peak of global financial crisis. 250 more worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore were announced in 2015. The company’s share of the air travel market stood at 40 per cent in January 2017.

 

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