Saturday, March 31, 2012

Low-cost airlines vie for Kingfisher routes

After the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines withdrew its Hyderabad flights, several other airlines are vying to fill the vacated airspace. 

The national carrier, Air India, has reintroduced its Hyderabad-Kolkata flight while SpiceJet, amongst the low-cost carriers, is at the forefront in this competition.

“We we have already announced services from Nanded (Maharashtra) to New Delhi, Mumbai, Trivandrum and Aurangabad,” said a SpiceJet spokesperson, a route operated chiefly by KFA.

The forecast is that the Chennai-based SpiceJet might make Delhi airport its second base for regional flights. Meanwhile, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here at Shamshabad, serving as the hub for the two airlines' southern region operations, will witness enhanced to and fro traffic.

A number of airlines have applied to the DGCA for a go-ahead to ply the routes vacated by KFA, which had begun with 35 to and fro flights and come down to seven. “The void is huge,” said an airport official and so is the passenger strength. Under these circumstances those airlines that can afford to cash in on the situation, would grab the opportunity.

Air India has already announced its summer schedule and a bonanza of specials, such as an increase in the number of seats on certain sectors for the holiday season, new flights and sectors on its domestic and West Asia network and several special fares.

Lucknow airport, which had refused to service KFA due to non-payment of dues, is also being tapped by various airlines.

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