Indian low-cost carrier Indigo may reportedly be considering introducing a business class cabin on 35 of its A321 aircraft from 2024.
According to The Economic Times of India, which quoted unnamed sources within the airline, IndiGo is looking to add four rows with a 36-inch seat pitch, compared to the 30 inches available in its current single-class cabin.
This premium section of the cabin would also see seats arranged in a 2-2 seat configuration, rather than the denser 3-3 layout IndiGo and most other low-cost airlines now offer on narrowbody aircraft. The report added that the airline could also be planning to offer a differentiated service, including hot meals and other amenities.
If confirmed, this would represent a departure from low-cost airline orthodoxy, and bring IndiGo closer to a hybrid model. The move would also be aimed at competing with a resurgent Air India for business passengers, particularly on international routes, which is a segment where IndiGo is fast expanding.
However, these business class seats will only be introduced on 35 aircraft, a small fraction of IndiGo’s A321 fleet. As of November 2023, the airline counts more than 90 aircraft of the type, with another 670 on order, including 69 of the A321XLR version, which are likely candidates to be fitted with the new business class cabin.
The A321XLR aircraft, which is expected to enter service in 2024, is an extended range version of Airbus’ largest single-aisle aircraft. IndiGo plans to use them to expand its international network further, including to destinations in northwestern Europe such as Amsterdam and London.
“We are always in the process of evaluating options available. As a policy, we do not comment on speculations and will share any information if and when we have anything to share,” IndiGo said in a press statement issued to AeroTime on November 23, 2023.