Saturday, September 03, 2016

Air India cruises into smaller skies to make more Moolah

New Delhi:  Loss-making Air India is embarking on an aggressive drive to improve its market share from the current level of 15 per cent and give competition to Indigo, the market leader with 39 per cent share, by 2017-end. The state-run carrier has decided to focus on tier II and tier III cities with huge traffic potential with innovative concepts. These cities have not been touched by private carriers.

Beginning January next year when it starts inducting newly-leased aircraft, Air India will start with a ‘garland flight’, connecting Kolkata to Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur and Delhi. “It’s a new concept enabling passengers to fly from one tier II city to another,” said an airline official.
The new routes will be supported by the induction of an airbus and an ATR aircraft every month from January onwards. About 450 pilots and cabin crew are being recruited.

The airline operates flights from bigger cities to smaller towns. “These smaller cities have no connectivity and we want to get the first-mover advantage,” Air India CMD Ashwinin Lohani said.

As per the latest figures of the Director General of Civil Aviation, Air India enjoys a market share of 14.8 per cent, which is far below than the market leader Indigo, which corners 39.8 per cent of air traffic. Jet Airways comes second with a market share of 16.3 per cent and SpiceJet follows with 11.7 per cent.
04/09/16 Samiran Sarangi/New Indian Express
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