Indian low-cost airline IndiGo and Turkish Airlines recently resumed their codeshare agreement. The partnership will provide greater flexibility to passengers of both airlines and allow them to travel hassle-free to multiple destinations. The two carriers first signed this agreement in 2018, but ended up temporarily suspending the agreement in March 2020 as countries around the world entered the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Ekşi said:
“After two difficult years of pandemic, the airline industry is now in the new period that will allow us to heal the wounds. In this new era, every cooperation has become more important for every airline. We are very happy to see that Turkish Airlines and IndiGo guarantee the best for their customers. I am pleased to report that our passengers will continue to benefit from broader opportunities with the resumption of the codeshare agreement with IndiGo..”
The agreement will be implemented gradually. The first phase has already been in effect since June 29, where the two carriers will sell each other’s tickets and place their code on the other airline’s flights.
Under this partnership, IndiGo is expected to be the operating carrier, while Turkish Airlines will be the operating carrier. This means that Turkish Airlines will sell tickets for IndiGo’s Delhi-Istanbul route in the first phase of the partnership. India’s largest airline currently operates a daily flight on the DEL-IST route, with plans to add another frequency next month.
IndiGo will be the operating carrier under the codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines. Photo: Airbus
Later, the deal will be expanded to include these six domestic destinations in India: Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. This will provide Turkish Airlines passengers with easier access to their respective final destinations in India.
The resumption of the codeshare agreement between the two carriers will provide passengers with greater opportunities to travel within India and the rest of the world. It may take some time for indigo passengers to access the global network of Turkish Airlines, the reverse is already possible.
The Turkish Airlines website now offers passengers a comprehensive itinerary from Istanbul to the six domestic destinations mentioned above. For example, when searching for a flight from Istanbul to Amritsar (ATQ), passengers are offered an end-to-end ticket via Delhi, where the first leg of the journey is operated by Turkish Airlines, and IndiGo will operate the last DEL- Leg ATQ on a Turkish Airlines code.
IndiGo on a Roll
As India opened its borders for scheduled international flights in March earlier this year, IndiGo has sought to make the most of the situation. The low-cost carrier signed new codeshare agreements and revived existing ones left, right and center.
IndiGo has ambitious plans to partner with up to 12 global airlines over the next few years. Photo: Airbus
IndiGo recently set up its codeshare with American Airlines, Air France-KLM, and took over the one with Qatar Airways. Additionally, the carrier is also in the process of finalizing another codeshare with Qantas. Overall, IndiGo expects to have codeshares in place with at least 12 global airlines over the next few years. This will make IndiGo the go-to airline for international travelers looking for domestic routes within India and Indian carriers from Tier 2 cities looking to travel overseas.
IndiGo’s plans at a time when the Indian market expects two startup airlines in the coming months are ambitious to say the least. It will be interesting to see if Akasa Air and Jet Airways 2.0 will be able to reduce IndiGo’s market share over the next few months.