Port Blair Set to Get More Air Connectivity with Bengaluru and Hyderabad

Low-cost air carrier GoAir has added Hyderabad as its 23rd destination on its network; services to begin from October 2016. Hyderabad-Bengaluru-Port Blair are now going to be air-connected.

Earlier, India’s leading low cost air carrier, IndiGo, had introduced three new flights connecting Port Blair with Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi. Port Blair thus became IndiGo’s 41st destination.

As of now, the Mumbai based no-frills airline GoAir flies to 22 domestic airports with a fleet of 21 Airbus A320 including A320neo.

This will provide leisure and business travelers more travel options.

In a press release, GoAir said that it would add Hyderabad in its network with the launch of non-stop flight services between Hyderabad and Chennai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, & Kolkata from October 2016.

Tickets for the new flights are already up for sale, the release said, and can be booked through the company website, NC Airways, GoAir Call Centre, airport ticketing offices, and the GoAir mobile app that is available on both Apple iOS and Google Android.

“This latest addition to GoAir network reflects the airline’s phase of growth with a focus on scaling up operations gradually in the coming weeks while strengthening the value proposition to suit customer’s demand. With new additions of aircraft in coming months, GoAir will operate up to 184 daily flights by the end of December from current 144.” the airline said.

In June 2011, GoAir had placed an order with the European airplane maker, Airbus, for 72 new A320 neo aircraft valued at about Rs 3,24,000 million on list price. Thereafter, GoAir signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for another 72 A320neo aircraft at Farnborough International Airshow in July 2016.

GoAir had last month said that it planned to add five more planes in the fleet by March 2017 besides commencing international operations.

“Hyderabad is a key market in south and central India and a significant base for business and tourism in the region. Adding Hyderabad with its ideal geographical location, we reinforce our commitments towards connectivity across the country,” GoAir Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schaeur said in the release.

“We are happy to welcome GoAir to Hyderabad Airport. As one of the fastest growing airports in the country, our focus has been on providing more options to our passengers and with the introduction of services by GoAir, we now offer a wider range of choices in terms of destinations and frequencies. We keenly look forward to working together with GoAir towards our goal of establishing Hyderabad Airport as the gateway to south & central India,” GMR Hyderabad International Airport CEO, S G K Kishore said.

Air India Extends Rajdhani Plan to Add 7 More Cities

Air India is going to offer last minute ticket prices equivalent to 2AC fares of Rajdhani trains on seven additional routes including from Delhi to Raipur, Patna, and Ranchi.

Air India expanded its spot fare scheme, wherein unsold seats are offered at 2AC Rajdhani  rates four hours before a flight’s departure. These ticket prices are  as low as Rs 2,240.

AI chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani

Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani has said that Air Indiarier has an average load factor of 74 per cent across its domestic network while the seat occupancy on the trunk routes stands at around 80 per cent.  The move to offer  such tickets was aimed at providing relief to the passengers from last minute sky-rocketing fares and also to fill the vacant seats.

Air India’s move might pose competitive challenges for other private airlines, which generally charge very costly fares for last minute bookings.

“On account of popular response and with an aim to enhance growth, national carrier Air India has decided to add seven more centers under its ‘Spot Fares’ scheme,” Air India said in a statement.

“These fares would be available for sale within four hours of the scheduled departure of the flights. These fares are available for sale through city and airport booking offices, call centre and Air India website.  The scheme is available for more than 100 flights across the country,” the statement said.

Tickets are also available on NC AIRWAYS.

“By introducing these fares we are not only able to generate additional revenue but also able to fill each and every seat till the last minute,” the statement added.

The scheme was launched on select domestic sectors from June 27 to September 30. Air India is already offering these fares on four routes and with the new additions, the total number of such sectors would increase to 11. The scheme is intended to offer fares equivalent to that of a 2AC of the Rajdhani Express.

The routes and their fares are –

Routes Fares (Rs)
Delhi-Ranchi-Delhi 2770
Delhi-Ahmedabad-Delhi 2270
Delhi-Hyderabad-Delhi 3275
Delhi-Bhubaneshwar-Delhi 3475
Delhi-Goa-Delhi 3665
Delhi-Patna-Delhi 2315
Delhi-Raipur-Delhi 2240

It is already available on four trunk routes – Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi, Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi, Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi and Delhi-Chennai-Delhi.

As per Ashwani Lohani, the rationale behind the move was to provide “flying at low, affordable costs to last-minute passengers”.