IndiGo to go ahead with fleet expansion

January 10th, 2012 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Low cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo Tuesday said a possible review of its fleet expansion by the aviation regulator would not hinder the induction plan and it will add 12 aircraft by the end of 2012.

“We will be adding 12 aircraft in the current year. We had a fleet of 48 aircraft in December 2011 and this number will reach 60 aircraft in December 2012,” Aditya Ghosh, president, IndiGo Airlines, told reporters here.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in its latest financial audit report had rapped the airline for flouting mandatory safety norms and said it could review the company’s fleet expansion plan.

“The fast growth induction plan of fleet in the organisation also needs to be reviewed in view of the serious findings recorded in the audit report,” said the watchdog.

According to Ghosh, the company’s fleet expansion plan would not be hindered by any review.

“Our fleet expansion plan will not be hindered. India which has a billion people and around 500 million middle class need more aircraft than 400 (aircraft).”

“This business requires more aircraft. With only 400 aircraft how can there be over capacity in a country of a billion people?”

Earlier, the airline had placed an order for 180 aircraft from Airbus Industries worth $15.6 billion last year.

IndiGo was also criticised by in the audit for 35 incidents of violations of flight duty time limitation (FDTL) for pilots and cabin crews, and many instances of snags.

The company had defended itself by saying the FDTL violation incidents occurred due to reasons such as weather, traffic congestion and flight diversions.

IndiGo is the only profit making airline in the country, with a market share of 19.8 percent in November, 2011.

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