Thursday, February 06, 2020

Not much turbulence for Indian airlines from coronavirus

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus outbreak in China’s Wuhan have crossed 24,000 and the death count is now well over 400. The virus has spread across in geographical boundaries even though the count is still lower in countries other than China.

Air India and IndiGo — the Indian carriers  that  operate in China — have said they have withdrawn services completely to mainland China. They have also pulled out of Hong Kong. Indian government has cancelled all e-visas for Chinese and banned all India bound airlines from boarding any passengers from China.

The India–China market has been dominated by Chinese carriers, which operate their full quota of flights under bilateral rights, and by airlines from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore that offer one-stop connections. Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon also serve the Chinese market via Hong Kong.

Chinese aviation has grown multi-fold between 2003 and 2020. Chinese investments and outbound tourism have been very strong in South East Asia.

Carriers in the region such as Thai AirAsia, AirAsia, VietJet and Lion Air group have thrived on Chinese tourists visiting the region in large groups and year-round. The visa-free regime with most countries has helped as well.
06/02/20 Ameya Joshi/CNBC TV18
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