IndiGo planning to overhaul long-haul international meals

IndiGo has recently taken international flights with a lot more seriousness than about one year ago. Given domestic city-pairs have almost been saturated and IndiGo has about half the domestic market share, IndiGo has been expanding on international routes a lot more this year, and even the management team of the airline has stated that growth will be about 50-50 between domestic and international here on.

However, IndiGo has chosen to go 7-8 hours out with the same product and passenger experience. This has reflected in passengers on their long-haul flights complaining. For instance, on the flight between Delhi and Istanbul, there are no power ports, the same padding for seats as it would be for a Mumbai and Delhi flight.

Not just that, the flight also has the same food options as a domestic flight.

At the launch of the IndiGo – Qatar Airways codeshare, I managed to talk to Ronojoy Dutta, the CEO of the airline. He commented that the airline was aware of the issues of seat padding as well as the meals. IndiGo will still not be interested in adding ovens to their aircraft, given that it is an additional weight on the aircraft, but the airline will lookup additional options for these long flights. He said,

Food choice will be increased. The menu will reflect more options. However, our planes don’t have oven needed to warm food. Ovens cost too much and being heavy increase fuel burn. We are a low cost company and have to keep offering lower fares. We are looking at options for seat cushioning too.

This tallies with the statement made by IndiGo management in early 2019 at the CAPA India Aviation Summit, where we were told ‘something more‘ would be provided to those who fly IndiGo’s long-haul destinations. While I haven’t flown them on these segments so far, it does not seem that the something more has turned up on any flight so far. So, I would take this statement with a pinch of salt till the new food options really make it to the menu. But at least there is clarity now that there will be no ovens and hot milk for the kids on the flights.

What are the new meal options you would expect from IndiGo for these long-haul flights?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. The preheated meal idea is a good one.

    I can’t see myself flying Indigo on such a long flight in an Airbus configured for a 2 hour flight. That said, clearly there’s a market for no-frills rock bottom fares… folks will endure much, I suspect, for a cheap ticket. Especially in a hugely price sensitive market like India.

  2. Pre-heat hot meals on the ground. Place them in hot boxes and serve them straight after take off. I agree they wont be proper hot. But they will be atleast warm. Second meal can be a cold meal served with hot beverages.

    I understand all meals are paid for and I’m not a food expert when it comes to reheating food, food bacteria and contamination etc.

    On then other hand flew Chandigarh-Delhi last week with Air Asia India and they served my pre-ordered hot meal (piping hot), juice drink and a cup of water. All on a flight of 41 min flying time.

  3. I admire Mr. Dutta to stick to the core business model of his company but then I believe they should give up their dream of reaching Europe with no hot meal options.
    Not all dreams are meant to be realized.

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