Thursday, April 20, 2017

IndiGo flies high in the Gulf route

Mumbai: The airspace from India to the Gulf is getting increasingly crowded with call signs from IndiGo. The country's biggest carrier by market-share is quietly, but aggressively, expanding in a region that sends the biggest worker remittances, and acts as a hub for onward journey to Europe or the eastern water margin of the US.

And losing out in the bargain are rivals such as Air India Express and Jet AirwaysBSE 6.50 %, the latter reducing seat-capacity in flights to the Gulf, while the Gurgaon-based airline is doing just the reverse. IndiGo has increased its seat-capacity to the Gulf by 40% in the past one year. It now offers 26,460 weekly seats from India to Dubai, Doha, Sharjah and Muscat, the airline said.

Indigo has started flights connecting Chennai and Kozhikode with Muscat, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram with Sharjah, and Mumbai and Delhi with Doha. Regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed Indigo to further increase seats, which can go up to 31,500 a week. That would mean a 66% jump in one year.

By contrast, Jet Airways has decreased its weekly capacity to the Middle-East by 14% to 51,100 seats between the last winter schedule and the ongoing summer schedule, said a source in the know. In the last few months, Jet has stopped flights connecting Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Goa to Abu Dhabi. It has also withdrawn services connecting Mangalore and Kozhikode to Sharjah, and Thiruvananthapuram with Dubai, sources said.
20/04/17 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times