Friday, February 09, 2018

Southeast Asia may be atop summer holiday list, but airlines hesitant to fly

Chennai: People planning summer holidays in Southeast Asian destinations may have to spend more as air fares have increased due to a shortage in the number of flights.
Jet Airways has cancelled its daily service between Chennai and Singapore and moved it to Bengaluru while Thai AirAsia and Malindo Air have cut their frequencies from Trichy to Kuala Lumpur. The airlines were also catering to passengers headed to Singapore as the services were positioned in such a way that passengers got convenient connection from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore or Bangkok.
Sources said unfair competition and predatory pricing of tickets among the carriers to garner maximum passengers on the Chennai-Singapore route has lead to Jet Airways withdrawing from Chennai.
An airport offiial said, "There was fierce competition between Scoot, Singapore Airlines, IndiGo and Air India who operate direct flights forcing the airlines to sell one-way tickets at Rs6,000 while it should have been sold at Rs8,000. This has lead to reduction in load factor in some of the services. The frequency is also high because Singapore is the most popular foreign destination from Chennai."
An airline official said operators have the most number of flights between Singapore and Chennai because the city ranks second in generating tourists to the city-state. The number of flights to Singapore is higher because most of the airlines connected Chennai with Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok via Singapore with an offer of one day's halt for sightseeing.
09/02/18 Times of India