India's largest airline IndiGo does not plan to include hot food options in its onboard food menu as this goes against its fundamental strategy of being a low-cost carrier. However, the airline is looking to incorporate more options in its cold food menu.
"Hot food would mean keeping ovens on the flight and ovens are expensive. They will take up a lot of fuel and add to our costs. We, as a low-cost airline, cannot do that. But, we are looking to include more options in our food menu," a senior company executive said.
Fuel is the single-largest expense for an airline in India and accounts for nearly 35-40 percent of an airline's total expenditure. A rise in fuel costs directly affects the bottomline of a carrier. Fuel cost for IndiGo rose 2.6 percent on year in Jul-Sep to Rs 3,115 crore or 33 percent of the airline's total expenditure for the quarter.
A firm believer in unbundling of services whereby a passenger can choose a service she or he wants to utilise and then pay for that specific service only, IndiGo is not looking at any changes in this regard.
"A passenger, who is sitting in the middle seat towards the back, and a passenger, sitting in the seat with extra leg space, will have two different kinds of experiences but there is always an option available to the passenger sitting in the middle seat to avail the service which will provide a better flying experience to him or her on our flight," the executive added.
As the airline has launched aggressive international expansion since last year, one aspect which has been a talking point among the industry experts is the lack of comfort in the seats of A320neo family Aircraft.
"We will do something about the cushioning of the seats," the executive said.
With its fleet of nearly 250 aircraft, the airline operates close to 1,500 daily flights and connects 60 domestic destinations and 23 international destinations.
In the current financial year, the airline has entered Vietnam, Myanmar, China and Saudi Arabia.