Airline major IndiGo will focus aggressively on expanding operations in tier-II cities to cash-in on the rising air traffic from these destinations.
Accordingly, the airline plans to enhance connectivity to Leh, Agra, Darbhanga, Kurnool, Bareilly, Durgapur and Rajkot.
In a conversation with IANS, IndiGo's Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer Sanjay Kumar said: "We have been witnessing steady demand from regional sectors owing to strong domestic travel demand getting back eventually."
"We have an increased focus on tier II markets to strengthen our regional presence. Given the fact that international travel may take some time to rebound, airlines will bet big on smaller towns for a large volume of their traffic."
According to Kumar, as corporate travel is expected to remain sluggish for the time being, "'MSME and new travellers' travelling from these regional and tier II and tier III cities, 'Visiting Friends and Relatives' (VFR) and leisure travel" will drive business.
"We are already looking at expanding to seven regional stations over the next few months to enhance domestic connectivity. These stations include - Leh, Agra, Darbhanga, Kurnool, Bareilly, Durgapur and Rajkot."
Besides, Kumar cited that the vaccination drive has boosted the overall confidence and demand in the country.
"We are looking forward to the time where a larger population gets the vaccine jab and the fear of virus subsides further."
In terms of future outlook, he said: "Domestic passenger demand will remain upbeat as we are witnessing growth from tier II and III markets. We do not see the demand diminishing for now as people have now slowly started moving within the country, specially for leisure travel."
"We are expecting the demand to further increase, as cases slowly decrease and vaccination drive picks-up pace across the country."
At present, IndiGo has a fleet of 284 aircraft and is operating more than 1,100 flights every day connecting 60 domestic and 6 international destinations.