IndiGo announces codeshare with Virgin Atlantic; to cover 7 cities in India
The British airline currently operates two daily flights on London (Heathrow airport)-Delhi route and one daily flight on London (Heathrow airport)-Delhi route.
The codeshare between IndiGo and Virgin Atlantic will currently cover seven cities in India, and it will later this year be expanded to include nine more cities, it said.
The codeshare will allow Virgin Atlantic passengers to book a single ticket to travel from London to Delhi or Mumbai, and then take IndiGo flight to these Indian cities.
IndiGo already has codeshare partnerships with five airlines: Turkish Airline, Qatar Airways, American Airlines, Air France-KLM and Qantas Airline.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said on Wednesday that the airline is summer season this year operated its India-London flights with 85-90 per cent load factors (occupancy rates).
He said the airline is considering both options — expanding operations to India as well as having more such partnerships similar to the one established with IndiGo.
Flights on London (Heathrow)-India routes are extremely lucrative for airlines. Along with Virgin Atlantic, three other carriers – British Airways, Air India and Vistara – operate on this route.
While these carriers want to expand their operations between Heathrow airport and India, they have been unable to do so due to constraint of slots at that airport.
The initial codeshare destinations under IndiGo-Virgin Atlantic partnership include Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Goa, Delhi and Mumbai. The additional destinations will include Kochi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pune, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Vadodara, Indore and Visakhapatnam.
IndiGo said the codeshare with Virgin Atlantic will be implemented from September 27 onward.