IndiGo codeshares with Turkish Airlines and launching flights to Turkey?

IndiGo has a long-term plan for expansion into Europe. They initially planned on operating flights to 5 European markets with their incoming fleet of Airbus A321neos. IndiGo will first take delivery of the A321neos and later switch to the long-range version A321LR. IndiGo recently upgauged the order to 150 A321neos.

When you venture into a new market, one of the steps for long-term returns is to forge a codeshare with the dominant Carrier. This accomplishes two aspects, improve connectivity and revenue, by increasing the passenger load factor for your flights.

A codeshare agreement is also important for a domestic carrier especially if it has a significant presence at an airport. Jet Airways have banked on this tried and tested method for a long time. They are reaping the benefits of codeshare. Codeshare has been essentially considered to be a full-service/network carrier privilege. However, IndiGo has now jumped onto the bandwagon.

IndiGo-Turkish Airlines codeshare

VT-IHL (ex TC-JCB) Source: Jet Photos

IndiGo has entered into a codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines yesterday. It is the first codeshare for IndiGo and for an Indian no-frills carrier.

Through this cooperation, Turkish Airlines will be offering new destinations in India as Marketing Carrier on IndiGo operated flights, while IndiGo customers will be able to reach many European destinations through Turkish Airlines’ extensive network. This reciprocal arrangement will allow TK and 6E to provide seamless connections to their customers, besides enabling them to use through check-in and many other facilities. IndiGo will place its code “6E”on 20 points beyond Istanbul operated by Turkish Airlines. Similarly, Turkish Airlines will use its code “TK” on IndiGo operated flights within India.

Above is the IndiGo presser. It is a bit crafty in the way it is framed. Codeshares happen when it is mutually beneficial. If you think about it IndiGo has more to gain.

Turkish Airlines has for long been requesting to increase the bilateral rights between India and Turkey. They want to fly to more Indian cities and also increase flights on existing routes. They can’t do that at the moment since no Indian carrier operates to Istanbul at the moment. So Turkish Airlines neither gotten an increased seat count, nor can they utilise a part of Indian carrier’s share through codeshare.

Here comes IndiGo in the picture. IndiGo is looking at the European market which is its target. Istanbul also happens to be an ideal stop between India and Europe.

IndiGo enters into codeshare with Turkish Airlines

For representation purposes only: DEL-IST, BOM-IST, IST-LGW

IndiGo is rumoured to add Istanbul as a stopover destination. The Turkish Airlines press release almost confirms that IndiGo is launching flights to Turkey. When and from where haven’t come to light yet. It may be from more than two cities as IndiGo will operate Airbus A321neos (Turkish Airline operates 77W). So we may see service from one or two other cities like Bengaluru apart from Mumbai and New Delhi.

A Codeshare agreement has been signed between our Incorporation and InterGlobe Aviation Ltd.(“IndiGo”), India’s largest domestic carrier. The Codeshare agreement which will be effective after obtaining all necessary board and regulatory approvals, will cover the routes between two countries and beyond destinations for both airlines. The aforementioned agreement has a special importance for our Incorporation as it is the first international codeshare agreement for IndiGo which is the first Indian carrier starting flights to Turkey.

IndiGo might be saving the huge announcement when they take delivery of the first A321neo: VT-IUA. And that may be the reason why both airlines haven’t yet disclosed any details about which destinations will fall under the codeshare agreement.

Think about it, what will IndiGo do with placing their code on Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul if they have no plans to fly there?

Terminal transfer

IndiGo operates domestically out of T1 and T2 at Delhi. Turkish Airlines, on the other hand, operates out of T3. There is a free airport shuttle service available which connects all three terminals. At Mumbai Airport, IndiGo operates out of T1 whereas Turkish Airlines operates out of T2. That may need work.


A first for IndiGo. Turkish Airlines will have a third Indian partner after Air India (codeshare) and Jet Airways (interline). Both Turkish Airlines and IndiGo operate out of different terminals in India. IndiGo will use Turkish Airlines extensive network to feed passengers through Istanbul. An IndiGo-Qatar Airways codeshare is also in the making.

What are your thoughts on IndiGo-Turkish Airlines codeshare?


  1. Mumbai airport does have a shuttle to transfer to T2 but I used this 2-3 years back, I don’t know if it is still operational. Had to transfer to an AI flight from a 6E flight. Managed to transit without any issue.

  2. Yes, we have to ask whether IndiGo will modify its A321neo cabin, with some extra-legroom rows as a first step, as it evolves its network. And the seamless connections don’t sound very seamless at either BOM or DEL.

    Nonetheless, Turkish via IST certainly offers a fantastic gateway to Europe and the Mediterranean region. The TK-AI codeshare appears very limited in scope. It seems that AI partners more with LH, OS, SK, etc. for European itineraries. As such, the IndiGo-Turkish codeshare could be very useful for both airlines. Istanbul itself is also growing in popularity as a destination as more Indians travel abroad.

  3. A 6-7 hour flight on Indigo? Thank you very much. Do we know if Indigo is increasing the seat pitch for these flights?
    That aside, the code share makes sense as it will fill up Turkish planes with capacity from India. Not sure though how it will reflect on the Turkish brand. Imagine someone buying a ticket from Turkish and not reading the fine print saying “Operated by Indigo”. What a surprise they will have!

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