Friday, February 24, 2017

Air India may revive some flights to Africa

New Delhi: Air India is planning to revive some international routes in Africa which became defunct in 2006-2007. Increase in the number of Indians living in Kenya and Tanzania is one of the main reasons why Air India feels it could be commercially viable to revive these routes.

In the recent past, Air India has launched operations in Vienna and is also planning to launch operations in Washington and Copenhagen.

“A lot has changed since 2006. There are Indians now living in Kenya and Tanzania. I know of many Indian teachers who are living in Kenya and Tanzania. Commercial viability of an international route depends on the passenger load factor,” said Lally Matthews, Secretary of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).

 Although India has bilateral agreements with several African countries like Kenya, Zambia, Seychelles and Yemen, most of them are not being utilised. Air India is operating its flights only to South Africa at the moment. According to the tourism industry, many expatriates mainly from Gujarat living in Kenya and Tanzania who would like to visit India.
Air India officials said government support from Kenya and Tanzania is also a criterion for launching the operations.

“The government must agree on the number of passengers that is to be carried from Kenya and Tanzania. A separate agreement is signed for that,” said K R Krishnan, Senior V-P of travel consultancy firm, Nivalink.
23/02/17 Abhijeet Anand/Statesman