Thursday, September 07, 2017

India-Malaysia air traffic flies on Indonesian wings

The busy India-Malaysia air sector is seeing a sudden spike in traffic, thanks to some ingenuity of AirAsia and Lion Group – the two low-cost carriers from Southeast Asia.

The carriers which have exhausted the bilateral rights – the number of seats and flights they can operate to India and back – are using the fifth freedom rights meant for Indonesian airlines to cater to the growing traffic, according to a report by aviation consultant CAPA.

In aviation parlance, fifth freedom (also beyond rights) is the right of an airline to fly passengers from its home country, deposit them at an international destination, and then carry passengers to another international destination.

AirAsia Group has resumed services from Kuala Lumpur to Mumbai, using A330s operated by Indonesia AirAsia X, and is planning to add capacity on the Kuala Lumpur-Kolkata route using A320s operated by Indonesia AirAsia.

Similarly, the Lion Air Group has launched services in the Kuala Lumpur-Chennai market using 737-900ERs operated by Batik Air.

As a result of which AirAsia Group's Malaysia-India capacity has increased more than 20% to nearly 20,000 weekly seats, as flights operated by Malaysia based AirAsia and AirAsia X are supplemented by the new flights operated by Indonesia AirAsia and Indonesia AirAsia X.
07/09/17 Shahkar Abidi/DNA