Sunday, January 30, 2022

Air travel likely to become better and cheaper

 Domestic aviation is set to witness a price war, where passengers will benefit from competitive pricing in the coming months. While Air India, under the new regime, has already started the trend, two formidable players including Akasa Air and Jet Airways are scheduled to take off in the next few months offering more options.

Air India has already kicked off an enhanced meal service for travellers after becoming a part of the Tata Group. It has also set up an executive helpdesk for better facilities for customers including government stakeholders, senior business executives and others. Sources said more initiatives are in the pipeline for a better flying experience.

Aiming to provide affordable services, Akasa Air is likely to start services by June. Promoted by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, this airlines has placed an order for 72 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. With solid backing from industry veterans including Vinay Dube (former CEO of Jet Airways) and Aditya Ghosh (former president of Indigo), the airline’s focus is on democratising air travel. Facilities such as food and seat selection will be available at an extra cost.

Jet Airways, an airline that was grounded in April 2019 after running out of cash, aims to start domestic operations afresh at the earliest in 2022 as a full-service carrier. They are likely to become functional within the first quarter. Sources said that the new owner, the Jalan-Kalrock consortium, is working closely with authorities and respective airport coordinators on slot allocation, airport infrastructure and night parking at key airports like New Delhi and Mumbai.

Industry sources claimed that the owners of Jet airways are in talks with aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing for 100 narrow body aircraft for the renewed fleet. The airline is likely to see investment of nearly Rs 1,500 crore in the next six months. While top-level hiring has already been done, Jet aims to be a full-service airline with business class services in most of the flights.

Restrictions at the various airports in the country are set to ease with a gradual decline in Covid-19 cases and it is expected that air-traffic will see a post-pandemic revival in February. An airline official said that there is a lot of pent-up demand for travel, as people have been forced to stay at home. As a result, airlines have suffered huge losses. They can no longer afford to make losses as new players are entering the segment. Over the next few months, these airlines will offer competitive pricing to woo passengers. 

30/01/22 Kumar Vikram/New Indian Express

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment