Sunday, July 07, 2019

Flights between India, Europe to increase by over 25% from winters: Air France-KLM

New Delhi: Air France-KLM will increase its passenger-carrying capacity between India and Europe by more than 25 per cent from this winter even as profitability remains one of the biggest challenges for its flights on this route, a senior executive of the airline said.

"One of the major challenges in India is the route profitability. From a historical point of view, it has always been a bit of challenge. Our flights are doing well. But the economical performance is always a bit of a concern," Welmer Blom, the senior vice-president (Middle East, Gulf and India), Air France KLM, told PTI.

He said India is a "strategic" market for airlines and the conglomerate would be expanding flight connectivity between Europe an India.

Jean-Noel Rault, the general manager (Indian sub-continent), Air France KLM, said,"If you ask about the commitment of Air France-KLM to the Indian market, as of winter, on the yearly basis, it would be over a million seats to India. Currently, we are over 800,000 seats. It would be over 25 per cent increase."

KLM had announced in May that it will start thrice-weekly flights on Bengaluru-Amsterdam route from October 31. It had also announced that it will increase frequencies on Mumbai-Amsterdam route from three to seven from October 28.

Similarly, Air France is also planning to increase its frequency on Delhi-Paris route from five to seven during the winter season this year.

Moreover, Air France will be using bigger planes during winter season on the two routes -Mumbai-Paris route and Bengaluru-Paris route - where it currently operate flights using comparatively smaller planes.

"For Air France, we would be increasing the capacity of the aircraft. In Mumbai, we would be putting an B777-300 aircraft, which has some 400 seats, instead of the aircraft which has 280 seats. Same is applicable for Bengaluru, from A330 aircraft, we would be going to (bigger) B777 in the winter season," Rault told PTI.
07/07/19 PTI/Business Today
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