IndiGo, one of Asia’s largest budget airlines, is considering charging passengers for checked bags as it prepares for a price war in India’s cutthroat air travel sector, which is showing signs of recovery after the worst of COVID-19.
IndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, didnâ€™t implement the so-called unbundling of fares in February – just before a deadly wave of the pandemic hit the South Asian nation – even as Indiaâ€™s Directorate General of Civil Aviation ruled that carriers can start offering zero baggage and no check-in baggage fares. Regulatory caps on fares and capacity related to COVID prevented IndiGo from taking a decision at the time, CEO Ronojoy Dutta said in an interview on Tuesday.
â€œWe have been talking to the government about that,â€ Dutta said. â€œWeâ€™re waiting for everything to settle down before we lock something.â€
IndiGo joins Go Airlines India Ltd, which is also looking to unbundle baggage charges from air tickets to position itself as an ultra-low cost carrier. IndiGoâ€™s move to make ticket prices even cheaper will intensify competition among carriers known for driving fares so low they barely, and often donâ€™t, cover costs. The crushing price wars have put many airlines out of business in what was one of the worldâ€™s fastest-growing aviation markets before the pandemic.