An IndiGo flight stands at an airport. (Photographer: Anirudh Saligrama/BloombergQuint)

IndiGo-Turkish Airlines Sign Codeshare Pact, See International Expansion

InterGlobe Aviation on Friday announced signing a codeshare pact and a mutual cooperation agreement with Turkish Airlines as the budget carrier prepares expansion of its international flight network.

This is the first codeshare agreement for IndiGo, which is India's largest airline with a domestic market share of 43 percent. It would allow passengers to travel on a single ticket on flights operated by the partner carrier.

In turn, Turkish Airlines' customers would get direct access to all those cities in India which have IndiGo flights, the no-frills airline said in a release.

The pact, subject to regulatory and other approval, would allow IndiGo customers seamless connectivity to 20 European destinations beyond Istanbul, operated by the Turkish Airlines.

The codeshare agreement is a part of the airline's international expansion strategy, it added. Codeshare allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless travel to destinations where it has no presence.

"We are very excited to be launching our first codeshare with Turkish Airlines,” IndiGo's Director and Interim Chief Executive Officer Rahul Bhatia said. “Apart from supporting our upcoming direct services to Istanbul, this strategic partnership will expand the choices available to our customers for journeys beyond Istanbul, using Turkish Airlines' extensive network."

Besides Istanbul, IndiGo also reportedly plans to launch services to Gatwik (London), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and Yangon (Myanmar) as part of its international expansion plans.

Turkish Airlines, a member of the 28-member international airlines grouping Star Alliance, currently flies to 306 destinations and covers 124 countries, with a fleet of 331 aircraft.

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The reciprocal arrangement would allow IndiGo and Turkish Airlines to provide seamless connections to their customers, besides enabling them to use through check-in and many other facilities, the release said.

IndiGo would place its code '6E' on 20 points beyond Istanbul operated by Turkish Airlines. Similarly, Turkish Airlines will place its code 'TK' on IndiGo operated flights within India.

Operating codeshare flights with Turkish Airlines would enable customers book their journeys for European cities on IndiGo, using the services of Turkish Airlines, Bhatia said. IndiGo operates over 1,300 daily flights to 52 domestic and 15 international destinations.

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"We are very happy to host new operators in our main hub Istanbul and IndiGo will be the first Indian carrier starting flights to Turkey,” Turkish Airlines Deputy Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Bilal Eksi said.

"We believe that it would be great opportunity to improve our cooperation with our new codeshare partner IndiGo, which will provide new services and destinations for our passengers travelling to/ from India."