Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Takeoff, on time!

I was waiting in the line at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Domestic Airport to board my flight to Hyderabad. It was supposed to be a 1 hours 15 minute flight and the boarding gates had opened after a delay of about 30 minutes. I felt that I had a long evening ahead of me. I was blankly staring at the TV screen that repeatedly showed a muted video clip of Indigo’s TV commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alkHIx_v8CQ). I had seen the commercial before and I knew it emphasized on how Indigo carried out all its operations on time. This was my first experience of traveling with Indigo and I thought to myself, “Ironical.”

After the boarding process ended, the captain addressed the passengers apologizing for the delay and that he would try to make up for it. It seemed like any other in-flight announcement until he started telling us about his hometown and his schedule for the rest of the night. I felt that perhaps the airline wanted its passengers to know their captain better. Later, a flight attendant addressed the passengers and in addition to the routine security announcements, she mentioned all the languages that the crew members spoke. In most other flights, the crew members only spoke the regional languages of the source and the destination in addition to English. Here, they knew at least two to three additional languages. This was very advantageous in a place like India, especially for passengers on connecting flights. During the rest of the journey, only paid food and drinks were served. This was fine as Indigo was known for its timely operations and low fares. I was impatiently waiting for the journey to end. After about 45 minutes, I almost jumped with joy when I heard the captain say that we were about to land. We did reach Hyderabad on time.

As I read about the inception and growth of Southwest airlines and that Indigo’s strategy was inspired by that of Southwest, I instantly remembered my past journey with Indigo. The primary aim of both the airlines is to ensure that they provide a timely and a low-cost medium of transportation to their passengers. They both prefer to operate over relatively short distances. Also, Indigo’s employees are friendly towards their passengers as are the employees of the “LUV” airline. However, being in India, they have to be a little more conservative. Also, both the airlines try to maintain a low cost of operation by not serving meals.

Following the footsteps of Southwest has helped Indigo be the market leader in India today (http://www.firstpost.com/business/5-reasons-why-indigo-is-market-leader-today-424550.html). Warren Buffet has recommended investing in Southwest as a smart move(http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/05/airline-investors-should-heed-warren-buffetts-wisd.aspx). Considering the rest of the similarities between Southwest and Indigo, we can hope that investing in Indigo turns out to be a smart move too. (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/ipos/fpos/indigo-share-price-to-be-between-rs-400-to-rs-418-speculation/articleshow/49325718.cms)

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