Indigo Airlines – How did it fly past its competitors?

Indigo Airlines - How did it fly past its competitors?

In the fiercely competitive Indian airline industry, one name stands out for its remarkable success and ability to outperform its rivals – IndiGo Airlines. Founded in 2006 by Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, with Interglobe Enterprises holding a 51% stake and Gangwal owning the remaining 49%, IndiGo has soared past its competitors to become India’s largest passenger airline. This blog explores the key factors that have contributed to IndiGo’s phenomenal growth, its competitive edge in the post-pandemic era, and the unique strategies that set it apart from the rest.


IndiGo Airlines took flight in 2006 with a modest fleet of six airplanes. The brainchild of Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, the airline quickly expanded its operations, adding nine more airplanes by the end of 2007, bringing the total count to 15. This marked the beginning of a journey that would revolutionize India’s aviation industry.

How did IndiGo beat the competition?

Post Pandemic Era

As the aviation industry grappled with the challenges posed by the pandemic, IndiGo emerged as India’s leading passenger airline with an impressive market share of 57%. Despite the restrictions on international travel and limited capacity for domestic flights, IndiGo demonstrated resilience and adaptability, which allowed it to maintain its position at the forefront of the industry.

IndiGo’s growth during this period was fueled by its decision to upgrade its fleet with more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient Airbus planes. This strategic move not only enhanced its operational efficiency but also positioned IndiGo as a frontrunner in sustainability initiatives.

Competitive Prices

IndiGo understood the importance of competitive pricing in the Indian market. In a country where budget considerations often influence travel decisions, the airline crafted pricing schemes that were attractive to a wide range of passengers. Alongside competitive fares, IndiGo offered innovative loyalty services, fostering a loyal customer base.

Moreover, the airline displayed a keen ability to economize without compromising on revenue generation. This cost-conscious approach allowed IndiGo to maintain an edge in the highly competitive airline sector.

Unique and Modern Strategies

One of the cornerstones of IndiGo’s success lies in its ability to adapt and evolve. The airline’s management displayed flexibility and quick thinking, enabling them to navigate through various challenges, including the pandemic. IndiGo’s decision-making shifted from a methodical, analytical approach to crisis-mode strategies.

During the pandemic, the airline adopted a more charter-like approach, seizing opportunities for charter flights and cargo services. Additionally, IndiGo leveraged technology to its advantage, offering customer service through platforms like WhatsApp, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Indigo’s Fleet Size and Expansion

IndiGo’s impressive fleet size of over 300 aircraft has been instrumental in fending off competition. The airline focused on cash conservation while exploring new avenues for revenue generation, such as charter flights and expansion into smaller cities. This expansion strategy allowed IndiGo to tap into previously untapped markets and cater to a wider customer base.


IndiGo Airlines’ journey from its humble beginnings to becoming India’s largest passenger airline is a testament to its innovative strategies, resilience, and customer-centric approach. The airline’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances, coupled with its focus on competitive pricing and sustainable growth, has set it apart from its competitors. IndiGo’s ascent to the top of the aviation industry is a remarkable success story that continues to inspire and shape the future of Indian aviation.