Flight cancellations benefit Middle-East carriers

Nivedita Ganguly Anjana Chandramouly Mumbai/Bangalore | Updated on November 15, 2017

The Air India flight cancellations have disrupted the holiday plans of several travellers.

However, it is the Middle-East carriers that are benefitting from the present imbroglio.

Travel agents and tour operators said that Middle-East carriers such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad are seeing a rise in their load factors.

“These flights are almost 90 per cent full,” said a Mumbai-based travel agent. In fact, there has been a drastic shift of travel preference for other carriers as a result to AI flight cancellations.

“The immediate impact has been five to six per cent drop in the load factors of Air India. Even the others who have not made their bookings in Air India now prefer these airlines,” said Mr Iqbal Mulla, President, Travel Agents Association of India.

However, the shift to other international carriers has come at price for travellers.

“The air fares of international carriers are up 10-20 per cent, as most of the low-fare seats in the foreign airlines have already been sold out. Passengers, who are faced with a sudden flight cancellation, have the last bargain seats which are costlier,” said Mr Jimmy Alexander, Bangalore-based travel agent.

The Air India flight cancellations also had a fallout on the domestic sector. “The travellers prefer to fly with airline companies like Jet Airways and low-cost carriers like Indigo,” Mr Mulla said.

Air India Express flights to Kozhikode, Tiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Madurai were affected due to the pilots' strike that entered its fourth day on Friday leaving scores of travellers stranded.

> niveditag@thehindu.co.in

Published on May 11, 2012

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