Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Air India to fly Dreamliner on domestic routes

New Delhi: Air India plans to get back its lost status as the king of domestic skies and challenge the competition from IndiGo. The state-owned airline plans to raise its capacity on domestic routes by using wide-bodied Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes on high-capacity routes. Currently, it uses the narrow-body Airbus A320 on such routes. Simultaneously, the airline will fly the A320s between the Tier-II and Tier-III cities, which experts believe has a huge potential due to the government’s stress on regional route expansion.

“Immediately, we need to strengthen the domestic market and increase capacity. We will strengthen the existing routes by adding capacity, because there is a huge potential in this market,” said a top Air India official. International Air Transport Association, data show that domestic sector in India grew 20.2 per cent in 2015 - the highest in the world.

“Slowly, we’ll introduce Dreamliners in metros such as Bombay-Delhi route. We find it will be feasible to offer a high-end product like the Dreamliner as it will do well on these routes,” the official added. Air India’s 787s have 256 seats each, 18 of the business class and 238 economy seats. According to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air India has a market share of 16.4 per cent (as of 2015). Market leader IndiGo’s share is twice this figure, at 36.2 per cent.
16/02/16 Business Standard
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