IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi International) will debut a business-class cabin on selected aircraft and routes by the end of the year in a significant shift away from its low-cost roots. CEO Pieter Elbers confirmed the change during a May 23 earnings call, saying that rising demand for premium travel and a need to cater to the corporate market were behind the decision.

"We will be launching a tailormade business product on the busiest routes routes of the country before the end of this year,” he said. An IndiGo statement following his comments did not provide any further details beyond saying that more details would be made public in August.

Sources have told Indian business news outlets that the cabin will initially be installed on 10 to 15 aircraft that serve tier-one metro markets such as Mumbai International, Delhi, Chennai, and Bengaluru International. It was also reported that business class will be offered on certain flights to key international cities such as Abu Dhabi International, Dubai International, and Singapore Changi.

The announcement coincides with IndiGo Airlines reporting its highest-ever annual net profit of INR81.73 billion rupees (USD982.8 million) for the year to March 31, 2024. "The strong execution of our strategy has yielded consistent results for us as we achieved the targets we had set for ourselves as a team at the beginning of the year," said Elbers during the call.

Excluding two damp-leased B777-300ERs used to fly to Istanbul Airport and forty-five ATR72-600s used for domestic regional ops, IndiGo relies on a fleet of Airbus narrowbodies to service its growing network, now comprising 118 airports in 23 countries. Its current fleet includes thirty-six (including sixteen leased) A320-200s, 194 A320-200N, ninety-five A321-200NX, and three A321-200(P2F)s. However, it also has 985 aircraft on order, including three A320-200s, 265 A320-200Ns, 390 A321-200Ns, 223 A321-200NX, sixty-nine A321-200NX(LR)s, thirty A350-900s, and five more ATR72-600s.

Elbers said the extensive aircraft orders form part of a wider strategy to turn IndiGo into a global aviation player and contribute to India’s goal of developing into a global aviation hub.