Friday, March 12, 2021

Alliance Air Eyes Expansion in North East India, Waiting on Regulatory Approvals for New Airports

After braving the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic — Alliance Air — has set its sight on the Northeast region for further expansion. In a conversation with IANS, the airline’s Chief Executive, Harpreet A De Singh, said the next phase of the airline’s expansion depends on regulatory approvals for the new airports in the Northeast. Lately, the airline launched services to new destinations and resumed old ones, which had to be suspended due to the Covid-induced lockdown.

“We are looking at enhancing connectivity to the Northeast now. Special emphasis is on the routes to Arunachal Pradesh. The planning, hiring of pilots from defence forces on deputation and induction of new aircraft in the fleet are being carried out,” Singh told IANS.

Accordingly, the regional subsidiary of the Air India Group recommenced services to the destinations it had won under the UDAN regional connectivity scheme and started new ones on pure commercial considerations.

At present, the airline is operating services to 46 destinations.

Besides, the airline, which possesses only 18 turbo-prop aircraft, has witnessed a steady rise in load factor as passengers made their way from metros to Tier-II and Tier-III cities in the aftermath of the lockdown.

According to Singh, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the sector, but now a gradual recovery is taking place.

“We are witnessing a gradual recovery. We can recover even faster as soon as the fare band and capacity restrictions are removed. We might be able to reach beyond the pre-Covid levels of passenger traffic, once the fare band and capacity restrictions are removed,” she said.

12/03/21 IANS/

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