Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Airlines revive small-town connections

Chennai: As regional airlines are poised to connect tier II and tier III cities, low-cost carriers are reviving their small-town connections.
While Spicejet, which has 78-seater Bombardier Q400 aircraft, is eying small airports in the south, Indigo has ordered 50 ATR planes ideal for flights to such cities.
Low-cost airlines and full service carriers may get an edge as the ministry of civil aviation, at a regional connectivity scheme (RCS) meeting held in New Delhi on May 25, suggested that the three-year exclusive rights to fly a route accorded to regional carriers be cut down to one year.
Airlines have been tweaking their schedules in the past couple of months by including tier II city connections during many of their promotions. "Over the past few years, tier II and tier III cities have shown high growth in terms of bookings. Air travel to and from these cities is growing at more than 25% per annum since 2012," said chief operating officer Sharat Dhall. "Demographics, government policy, growing smartphone and mobile internet penetration, and an improved investment environment are driving growth. Secondary and smaller regional airports which are currently growing faster than major metro airports are serving these markets in terms of increased flights and passenger traffic," he said.
31/05/17 Times of India