International flights will be a key factor in the revival of aviation sector, according to IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta. They will also play a role in overall recovery of the economy, he said.
Expressing hope that the government will open international travel July onwards, Dutta told the Mint in an interview that as and when Centre opens the international skies, "we will start with the nearest short-haul markets that have sustainable travel demand like the Middle-East."
Dutta added that he expects the government to resume international operations in a phased manner following all preventive steps and guidelines.
Dutta said that the recovery will also hinge upon how other countries resume their international operations.
He stated that recovery from the current crisis may take anywhere between 18 and 24 months "to come back to the pre-covid levels of travel demand".
Dutta further highlighted that the airline has tightened control over its costs to tide over the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that IndiGo has taken several steps in this direction such as "negotiating better prices and terms with our partners, staggered pay cuts, placing our discretionary expenses on hold and deferment of certain capital expenditure projects to reduce costs."
Dutta further told the daily that the airline is also taking additional measures such as replacing its old A-320ceos with new A-320Neos to "enhance cost efficiency, and freeze supplementary rentals."