Thursday, September 01, 2016

Air India & SpiceJet may be flying first on regional routes

India is all set to start operating regional flights, and for the first set, Air India and SpiceJet might be lending their services. The decision was taken after the aviation ministry realised that these two carriers already have suitable aircraft in their fleet.

The idea is to provide air connectivity to towns and small cities.

"Bigger jets will not be able to fly these regional routes, but airlines with smaller aircraft can... If Air India increases utilisation of its smaller aircraft, they can surely fly these routes. SpiceJet has also made inquiries about the scheme. Both these airlines will get exclusive rights on that particular route for a period of three years," Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju told ET . Air India's regional subsidiary Alliance Air has 70-seat ATRs, SpiceJet too has similar-sized Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

Industry analysts, however, don't share the idea of using 70-seat aircraft for regional connectivity scheme. "Regional connectivity can only be successful with 15-or 20-seater aircraft and it does not make sense for a 70-seater aircraft to be used for regional connectivity. There are various airstrips within the north-eastern states where 70-seater aircraft cannot even land," said Mark Martin, founder and CEO of Martin Consulting, an aviation consultancy firm.
01/09/16 Business Insider
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