Budget carrier IndiGo on Monday became the first Indian airline to carry 100 million passengers in a calendar year.

IndiGo, which celebrated its 17th anniversary this year, has become one of the fastest airlines to reach the 100 million passenger figure. The low-cost airline joins a select club of global carriers to operate at such a scale.

In the calendar year 2022, the airline flew 78 million passengers on board (slightly above pre-COVID-19 levels). The new milestone represents a 22% increase in passenger traffic for 2023.

IndiGo aims to double its size by the end of this decade, transforming it from a domestic carrier to a global aviation giant. To fuel these ambitions, its parent InterGlobe Aviation placed a historic order of 500 new aircraft with Airbus. This order will give it a steady stream of deliveries between 2030 and 2035.

IndiGo, Asia's largest carrier in terms of capacity, operates over 300 aircraft and has previous orders of 480 aircraft which are yet to be delivered. With this additional order of 500 aircraft for 2030-2035, IndiGo's order book has almost 1,000 aircraft.

"This landmark figure is the result of the love and trust shown by our customers and the hard work and passion of all IndiGo colleagues. This milestone is also a validation of our strategy which has been executed so diligently," says Pieter Elbers, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGo

Over the last six months, IndiGo has added more than 20 new international routes to its network while strengthening domestic connectivity. Over the next few months, the airline aims to further add destinations like Bali, Indonesia, and Medina, Saudi Arabia to its network.

The low-cost carrier revamped its on-board catering service to "reduce wastage" and "improve service efficiency" earlier this year. IndiGo ditched packaged soft drinks and juices and began pouring them into paper cups. Also, it is now compulsory to buy a snack if a passenger wants a soft drink or beverage.

India's aviation market is incredibly competitive in terms of prices as value-conscious consumers are demanding and always up for a good deal, IndiGo chief executive officer Pieter Elbers said in September.

IndiGo recently achieved another first for India, by becoming the first airline to operate more than 2,000 flights a day. It operates to 118 destinations, including 32 international destinations.

The 17-year-old airline which started with a single flight on the Delhi-Guwahati route has one of the world’s youngest aircraft fleets. It is the seventh largest carrier in the world in terms of daily departures and flies over 3 lakh passengers a day.

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