INDIGO: Extends codeshare with Qantas. India via Singapore
Friday last week saw the announcement by India’s largest airline, IndiGo, extending its codeshare agreement with Qantas. IndiGo, a subcontinental low cost carriers is the largest with 64% of the domestic market.
I posted about this back in January, 2023. The codeshare agreement commenced in September 2022 and included 11 IndiGo destinations. These could be reached from Qantas serviced arrivals at Bengaluru and Delhi. Qantas runs Bengaluru flights from Sydney and Delhi flights from Melbourne. It’s now extending to include Qantas flights between Australian ports and Singapore.
For Indian customers, they can now access Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney directly via Singapore as Indigo codeshares with Qantas. It will start with Singapore/Melbourne flights, and the other destinations will be rolled out over the next few months.
For Australian customers, the codeshare agreement will give them access via Qantas flight numbers to 21 IndiGo destinations in India. Your boarding passes can be issued to your final destination, and your baggage will also be through-checked,
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Earning Frequent flyer points and status credits
Given you will be travelling with Qantas flight numbers you can also earn Qantas Points and Status Credits on the IndiGo flights. However, don’t expect much more than that, like lounge access etc, because IndiGo is actually a Low Cost Carrier (LCC), although offering a Business Class product on some routes flown using leased Boeing 777 jets.
Other direct options to India – Air India
Air India, a Star Alliance member, also flies direct to Indian destinations: Melbourne to Mumbai (starting 15 December 2023) and the existing Sydney and Melbourne to Delhi route. Air India has been re-acquired by the TATA Group and has placed a humongous 470 aircraft order across Boeing and Airbus products. The order includes 40 Airbus A350 LRs and 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. It also has 10 orders for the yet-to-be-completed Boeing 777-9 model.
These orders, when complete, will give Air India a significantly larger long-haul wingspan. That, combined with the renewed management style of TATA and Singapore Airlines augre well for the future of Air India.
This extended and renewed codeshare agreement with IndiGo extends the Qantas offering on the subcontinent. That said, I’d be tempted to sidestep this initiative and travel via another centre like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Hong Kong still potentially using OneWorld carriers like Malaysian or Cathay. Their prices look cheaper.
To fly to New Delhi with Qantas, I would need to go via Melbourne. Given that the flight departs at 9:20 am, I’d need to fy down the night before, and adding the one night stay would make it uncompetitive.