Absolute ceiling to turbulence? How a revolving door, a bet gone wrong are putting a drag on IndiGo

IndiGo airlines aircraft queue up to take off on the runway at airport in Mumbai, India on 10 July 2019.

Synopsis

In a few weeks, IndiGo is expected to announce its fourth-quarter results, taking its three-year cumulative loss to a whopping INR12,000 crore. While a part of the blame for the huge loss could be on the pandemic, conversations with more than a dozen people aware of the airline’s functioning reveal something more worrying.

When IndiGo CEO Rono Dutta got on to the airline’s quarterly-results call in the summer of 2021 and announced a record loss, there was no hint of grief in his voice. Though India’s only dividend-paying airline had incurred a loss of INR6,000 crore, Dutta was sanguine. “I really think this is almost like a ‘Cinderella moment’ for IndiGo… The bottom line looks ugly, but very soon, things are going to get a lot better,” Dutta, 69, told analysts,

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