Monday, October 02, 2017

Indian aviation takes off — via the Gulf

India is taking to the air, and it is increasingly using the UAE’s two global airlines, Emirates and Etihad, to do so.
This will not come as news to anybody who has traveled to the US recently. On two recent summer flights to New York, Indian passengers formed a big majority in economy class, most of them on codeshare tickets from Jet Airways, India’ second biggest airline measured by destinations served. Both Etihad and Emirates have codeshare deals with Jet.
I didn’t have the chance to see the demographic of business class, but it must have been similar, given rising Indian income level and business activity.
A recent bit of research by CAPA (reproduced in Emirates’ government affairs journal Open Sky) declared that India was to become the third largest aviation market in the world, replacing Japan currently in that slot and behind only the US and China. India is already in third position in terms of domestic passenger traffic.
A separate study by the International Air Travel Association estimated that by 2030 Indian air passengers would total 442 million flyers, up from 159 million last year, would support 19 million jobs in the country and contribute $172 billion toward its economy.
Statistics on the international market share gives a breakdown by airline. Jet flew most passengers out of the country, with 13.7 percent of the total, followed by Air India with 10.4 percent. Then came Emirates with 8.7 percent. Etihad was unable to give a figure in time for publication, but the Abu Dhabi airline must be a significant part of the remaining 67.2 percent.
Both Air India and Jet have expanded their worldwide services in recent years, but most of the recent growth has been on US routes, for several reasons.
The first is the growth and increasing globalization of the Indian economy. As Indian businessmen look outwards, they naturally seek to do business with the biggest economy in the world.
01/10/17 Frank Kane/Arab News