More IndiGo Middle East routes than ever!

Imagine that you are standing in the queue at passport control in a major airport. Where do you think the person in front of you might be flying to? Moreover, if your guess is somewhere in the Middle East, you have a 50% chance of being right.

These routes are so crucial to Indian carriers that when a new airline decides to fly abroad, they inevitably pick destinations in this region first. IndiGo was no different when it chose Dubai as one of their international launch routes in 2011.

IndiGo Middle East

Currently, Jet Airways carries the most number of passengers in and out of the country flying to eight destinations in the Middle East. Almost 15% of their entire capacity is deployed on these routes. With prime slots available in Mumbai and Delhi airports, they are the go-to Indian carrier for connections to the Middle East, and beyond (via Abu Dhabi).

But this may not be the case in the future. Keeping Jet Airways’s financial woes aside, it is important to note that most of the people who are flying these routes are price conscious. Many will buy the cheapest ticket, regardless of which airline they are flying.

IndiGo Middle East expansion

That’s precisely the market IndiGo is gunning for. In just over seven years, they’ve built an impressive network which ferries passengers from around India to the Middle-Eastern countries. While others are feeling the heat due to lower yields on these routes, IndiGo is busy expanding its footprint in this market.

Take Dubai for instance; you can fly direct from Mumbai, Delhi or Kochi on Jet Airways or fly IndiGo from nine cities including Chandigarh and Hyderabad. It’s not just in the case of Dubai; you can travel to Sharjah from Lucknow, Kozhikode to Abu Dhabi without needing to connect at a hub. Since the UAE bilaterals are negotiated separately with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, there may be some merit to them joining city pairs which are usually not covered, also to maximise their take of the seat allocations.

Some of the recently announced flights include Chennai to Kuwait, Calicut to Abu Dhabi, Cochin to Abu Dhabi, Trivandrum to Doha and Ahmedabad to Doha. Here are the schedule and launch dates of their new routes.

  • Chennai – Kuwait launches October 15, 2018
    • 6E1751 MAA0105 – 0410KWI A320 D
      6E1752 KWI0510 – 1225MAA A320 D
  • Calicut – Abu Dhabi launches October 16, 2018
    • 6E1732 CCJ0040 – 0330AUH A320 D
      6E1733 AUH1730 – 2330CCJ A320 D
  • Cochin – Abu Dhabi launches October 15, 2018
    • 6E1734 COK1330 – 1630AUH A320 D
      6E1735 AUH0430 – 1030COK A320 D
  • Trivandrum to Doha launches October 1, 2018
    • 6E1727 TRV2235 – 0105+1DOH A320 D
      6E1728 DOH1100 – 1820TRV A320 D
  • Ahmedabad to Doha launches October 1, 2018
    • 6E1729 AMD0900 – 1000DOH A320 D
      6E1731 DOH0205 – 0800TRV A320 D

a map of the world with blue dots

And if you thought they are going to stop there, think again. The airline is looking at adding destinations in Bahrain & Saudi Arabia to the list. And needless to say, if they see a positive response on current routes, there might be an increase in capacity.


IndiGo is already the largest airline in the domestic segment. This is an exciting move where they are going abroad and now trying to be like Air Asia, covering mid-haul segments with a no-frills approach. Most of the traffic on these routes don’t need the frills. What would be interesting to see is when they go to London, how does that work for them.

Have you flown IndiGo to the Middle East? How was your experience?


  1. Kerala has a large expat population in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While Spicejet, Indigo, Air India Express, and flydubai all connect Dubai to Trivandrum, it’s surprising that of those, only Air India Express and their 25 year old planes connect Abu Dhabi and Trivandrum. That sector, whose only other option is the high cost Etihad, is ripe for low cost competition.

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