IndiGo takes freight seriously; not to consider launching a loyalty program: CCO

NEW DELHI: IndiGo’s first A321ceo cargo plane is expected to arrive on time in the first half of 2022 and it will show everyone that the airline is serious about growing its cargo business, said William Boulter, Commercial Director ( CCO) of the carrier.
On April 21, IndiGo announced that it was leasing four A321ceo cargo planes, each with a capacity of 27 tonnes of cargo.
The CCO told PTI in an interview last week that IndiGo is not considering launching its own loyalty program at this time and is focusing entirely on co-branding deals with banks.
IndiGo Airlines, in partnership with Kotak Mahindra Bank, on December 14 launched a co-branded credit card that allows customers to earn points (6E Rewards) that can be used to purchase tickets on its flights.
A similar co-branded credit card was launched by the airline, in partnership with HDFC bank and MasterCard, in February 2020.
When asked if IndiGo plans to launch its own loyalty program, he replied in the negative.
Boulter added: “At the moment, we are very much focused on the co-branding (credit card) agreements that we have with the banks. We believe that these (cards) offer customers a lot of benefits.”
A loyalty program allows the passenger to earn points when booking tickets for this airline. He can then use those points to purchase airline tickets on the same airline or purchase items or services from partner companies.
Boulter said IndiGo has the best loyalty program in the world and those are low rates.
“People seem to come back a lot to take advantage of these low tariffs. Right now, we’re focusing a lot on co-branded deals,” he said.
6E Rewards (IndiGo’s points system) offers customers a wide range of potentials and abilities to earn points in a number of their purchasing activities, from supermarkets and pharmacies to purchasing fuel, did he declare.
“We are very confident that our customers will adopt it quickly. We are so far very happy with the development of 6E Rewards. I don’t think there is anything holding it back,” noted Boulter.
Speaking of the airline’s cargo business, the CCO said, “Our cargo business has been one of the successes of the pandemic. In fact, we have operated nearly 8,000 charter cabin cargo flights.”
Nationally, the carrier is currently operating in 71 cities in India and each of these points has cargo capacity, he noted.
Of the four aforementioned cargo planes that have been ordered, he said: the first half of next year. ”
“It will really be a statement to everyone that IndiGo is very serious about freight and that freight is going to become an important part of our business,” he added.
When asked if the airline was planning to increase the size of its order for cargo planes, he replied, “We have ordered four planes. We will see how the business develops. We will make other decisions later. ”
Boulter said he sees huge potential for freight flights operating between India and China.
“We opened up services to China before the pandemic – to Chengdu and Guangzhou. They were very successful in a very short period of time,” he said.
Obviously, now, after the pandemic, the borders (with China) are closed for passenger traffic but the freight market is very buoyant, he added.
A number of items needed to tackle the pandemic around the world, such as PPE and test kits, have been produced in China in large quantities, he said.
“We are seeing strong demand for freight from China. We have had numerous charter flights over the past year, to Guangzhou in particular. During the second wave of the pandemic in India, we operated more than 70 charter flights between Kolkata and Guangzhou to bring in oxygen concentrators, ”he said.
“So China will obviously remain an important manufacturing base. It will generate a lot of freight demand. As IndiGo, we are happy to accommodate this request to the extent possible, ”he said.
IndiGo does not currently operate charter cargo flights to China, but it has always been in contact with agents in that market and there may be charter services in the future, the CCO noted.

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