Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Delhi-Auckland is “Skyscanner Unserved Route of the Week” with 420,000 searches; Air India’s next Southwest Pacific adventure??

With around 420,000 searches in the last 12 months, a potential city pair from Delhi to Auckland has been identified as this week’s “ Unserved Route of Week” – a powerful analysis based on aspirational data captured from the flight comparison site used by +60 million unique visitors per month. “In FY 2017 more than 240,000 passengers travelled between India and New Zealand,” comments Jitendra Singh, VP & Head Airline Marketing and Route Development, Delhi Airport. “Even after having a strong demand, it is unfortunate that the route is still not connected with a non-stop service and therefore remains as one of the top unserved destinations from Delhi Airport.”

Skyscanner demand on this week’s unserved route shows a preference towards the Auckland end of the city pair, with a 63/37 split, so on this basis we looked at potential carriers at the New Zealand origin first.  “47% of total passengers travelling to Auckland from India were originating in Delhi,” adds Singh.

According to OAG schedules for the week commencing 20 November, the largest carrier at Auckland is Air New Zealand (57% share of weekly seats). Despite offering a 41-destination non-stop network from the airport, presently the carrier does not operate any routes into the South Asia region. However it does serve Singapore in Southeast Asia (daily), as well as Hong Kong, Shanghai Pudong, Tokyo Narita (all daily), Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Haneda (both three times weekly) in Northeast Asia. Asia has been a focus for the airline’s recent network growth, with Singapore (started in January 2015), Ho Chi Minh City (seasonal flights only; June 2016), Kansai (November 2016) and Haneda (July 2017) all commencing in the last three years. While the Star Alliance carrier also had plans to start flights to Manila in December last year, these never came to fruition. Reflecting on this information, Air New Zealand clearly has a strategy to develop its presence across Asia, and now having access to this compelling Skyscanner data, a route from Auckland to Delhi would seemingly fit into this existing network philosophy.