Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wow Aims To Disrupt Long-haul Market from India

Indian international air service will get a boost once Iceland’s Wow Air on December 6 starts flying return service with an Airbus A330neo from Delhi to Reykjavík, offering passengers from the subcontinent a connection to any of the LCC’s several existing destinations in the U.S. and Europe. Selling promotional one-way tickets starting at $200, Wow has given rise to concerns about a fare war similar to those being waged among Indian domestic carriers. Most of the airlines involved had planned to fly medium- and long-haul flights to the West this winter, but the resulting losses have raised doubts about their implementation.

While low fares draw passengers, domestic airlines in India must cope with dizzying fuel prices, high taxes, rupee depreciation, and dollar escalation, making their operating costs far higher than those of international carriers.

More than 87 percent of Indian passengers fly to domestic destinations and the rest fly internationally. The U.S. and Canada rank as the fastest growing destinations for Indian travelers, welcoming some 20,000 arrivals a day. Data recently released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO) shows that the number of Indians visiting the U.S. increased by 6.5 percent from 2016 to 2017. It noted that 1.29 million Indians traveled to the country in 2017, up from 1.21 million the previous year.
25/09/18 Neelam Mathews/AINonline