Thursday, May 09, 2019

Lufthansa looks beyond Jet Airways for code-share pact

Germany-based Lufthansa Group, which has a code-share agreement with the now-grounded Jet Airways, is looking beyond its former partner.
Jet ceased its operations "temporarily" from April 17 after lenders refused to infuse any interim emergency funding.
The airline group which operates Lufthansa and its premium subsidiary SWISS in India is currently scouting for other Indian airlines for feeding traffic for onward journey to Europe and other international destinations.
Lufthansa is looking to tap international traffic from Tier-II Indian cities, which according to several estimates is growing close to 10% annually. Lufthansa has similar interline agreements with national carrier Air India and Tata Group-Singapore airline promoted Vistara for certain routes. Though low-cost carriers (LCCs) including market leader IndiGo and SpiceJet are on the radar for Lufthansa, the challenge has been the different operating platform, the group officials said.
George Ettiyil, senior director, South Asia, Lufthansa Group, said the complexities arise when a passenger needs to transfer, onward check-ins, etc, which become costly for LCCs as it changes their cost structure. "So we are open right now. In two-three months we will have a new programme of partnership in India as we have to fill up now, since Jet Airways is not there in the market." "At the same time, we are still observing what's happening to Jet Airways," Ettiyil said.
According to an estimate by Airport Authority of India, Tier II cities such as Ranchi, Lucknow, Surat, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar and Varanasi are driving the aviation growth story in the country with impressive growth year after year. Around 26% growith in coming from Tier-II cities. With years of double-digit growth, India is expected to emerge as the world's third-largest aviation market within the next five years.
09/05/19 Shahkar Abidi/DNA