Low-cost, long-haul flights from India to boost leisure travel
The launch of low-cost, long-haul flights by Indian airlines will boost outbound leisure travel and open a multi-billion dollar opportunity for carriers, a report released on Wednesday showed.
The analysis by aviation consultant CAPA India and online travel agent Expedia Inc
The carriers have so far focused on shorter-range destinations such as Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Only 0.3 percent of Indians currently travel abroad for a holiday every year, a fraction of the estimated 100 million who could potentially afford to do so, CAPA`s analysis of household income shows. Most Indians travel for education, business or to visit friends and relatives.
Tourism spending by Indians could rise to as much as $40 billion by 2027 from about $16.4 billion in 2016, CAPA said, ranking it sixth in the world ahead of Canada, South Korea and Australia.
"If there is any market where low-cost, long-haul can work it is India," CAPA India CEO Kapil Kaul said at an aviation conference in Mumbai on Tuesday, citing its geographic location and a large order pipeline for new long-range narrowbody jets.
SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh said on Tuesday low-cost long haul flights will be introduced as early as this winter.
IndiGo is exploring long-haul operations and seeking rights to routes, parent InterGlobe Aviation Ltd
The low-cost flights would compete against full-service Indian carriers Air India and Jet Airways
Low-cost carriers, launched in the early 2000s, already dominate domestic air travel with a two-thirds market share.
The share of budget airlines in the international market rose to about 23 percent in the fiscal year 2016/17 from 14.5 percent five years earlier, CAPA estimates.
That is expected to rise as Indian airlines have placed orders for nearly 800 re-engined aircraft, such as Airbus
The jets, with longer ranges than predecessors, will enable low-cost carriers to launch non-stop routes to Asian destinations such as Phuket, Manila, Hong Kong, and Hanoi that are otherwise unviable today.
By 2025, Indian budget carriers will operate close to 40 wide-bodied aircraft, which could deliver an additional 2 million annual outbound leisure travellers to places such as New York and Sydney, CAPA said.
Low-cost carriers AirAsia India and Vistara, a full-service joint venture between Singapore Airlines
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)