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“The travel trade should focus on promoting the domestic market and domestic tourism”: Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, Indigo

Monday, April 27, 2020, 14:18 Hrs  [IST]
Asmita Mukherjee | Hyderabad

“As an airlines company, our first responsibility is to bring back the confidence among the industry and  travelling public, as there are a lot of negative sentiments flying around amid COVID-19,” said Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, Indigo, in a recently organised e-panel discussion named ‘Road to Recovery’ by TAAI in association with TravelBiz Monitor. 

Kumar also emphasised on the uncertainty of the situation, “Nobody knows how long it is going to take to get back to the normal. The uncertainty of the situation is creating negative sentiments in the marketplace.” 

He suggested, “We have to bring back the confidence by bringing change in the daily operations handling with the help of government and other regulatory bodies.”

"We will come out with a lot of measures, including revised boarding process. After every plane landing, we will require additional 20 minutes of time to disinfect the planes so that we are able to bring the traveller’s confidence back. Post the lockdown, this is going to be the new normal," Kumar added.

IndiGo, which is India's largest low-cost passenger airline with a market share of 48% as of February 2020, expects the recovery in the domestic market to take 3-6 months whereas, the international segment could take much longer, in the range of 9-12 months. Explaining the same, Kumar said, “We are looking at a recovery time of 3-6 months for domestic flights, and 9 months for international flights. As an airlines operator, we have to work very closely with the travel fraternity. “

He also put forward a strategy for airlines and travel trade to soften the impact of the absence of international travel, “In this scenario, we have to promote domestic tourism, as international travel processes such as visa applications, might take 9-12 months to get normal. In the meantime, the travel trade should focus on promoting the domestic market and domestic tourism. We have to focus on building partnerships in domestic tourism. It will play a very important recovery role, as this crisis has put us back by a couple of years from where we were.”

While speaking about creating healthier partnerships with the travel fraternity in the country, Kumar mentioned, “At Indigo, we are very interested to work with our trade partners. We are keen to work on specialised basis with them through dialogues, which will create win-win situations for both partners and us.”

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