Economy

Domestic carriers plan to fly into Tier-II cities this summer

Nivedita Ganguly Anjana Chandramouly Mumbai/Bangalore | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on April 02, 2012

Also eyeing routes Kingfisher has pulled out from

Tier-II connectivity is the new big opportunity for domestic carriers, barring Kingfisher Airlines.

Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet have introduced many tier-II and tier-III routes in this year's summer schedule.

Officials at these airlines say that they have also applied to the DGCA for servicing routes vacated by KFA.

“The cancellation of Kingfisher flights has created a vacuum on the supply side. April to June being peak travel months, there is a clear demand-supply mismatch this year,” said Mr Manmeet Ahluwalia, India Head of travel portal Expedia.

The mismatch is a huge setback for the family summer travel segment, as air fares have become costlier now, said Mr Iqbal Mulla, President, Travel Agents' Association of India. “Air fares, which are already up 20-30 per cent, will go up by an additional 20 per cent during the season,” he added.

NEW ROUTES

Jet Airways has added Mumbai-Amritsar, Mumbai-Vijayawada (via Hyderabad) and Bangalore-Ranchi to its network.

IndiGo will launch a daily Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam service and a daily Patna-Hyderabad flight via Delhi from April 4.

IndiGo officials said the airline plans to expand its network in newer markets and strengthen its existing routes.

SpiceJet has opened bookings for Nanded in Maharashtra, and the service will start from April 19. Bookings for Kozhikode are also open and the maiden flight is on April 27, said a SpiceJet spokeswoman.

Other smaller cities recently added include Surat, Aurangabad, Thiruvananthapuram and Varanasi. The airline sees a huge untapped potential in tier-II cities, she added.

According to Mr Mulla, Air India and Jet Airways have benefited the most in the past few months.

“Earlier, they had about 70 per cent load factor, and now they are flying full. IndiGo, already running full, did not have additional seat capacity to tap into this sudden potential,” he said.

However, low-cost carriers have increased their fares, which are now on par with full-service carriers, he added.

>niveditag@thehindu.co.in

>anju@thehindu.co.in

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Published on April 02, 2012
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