Air India lays out long-haul flight plans to regain market from Gulf carriers



Aviation Festival Asia is without doubt one of the most happening places for heads of airlines, and senior executives of airports. Not forgetting those in software, marketing and sustainability departments of the aviation sector. It also involves anyone shaping the development of business partnerships in the aviation industry across Asia.

This year’s event was held at Suntec Singapore for two days (February 28-29), where 250 speakers from airlines and airports, as well as travel technology companies with their products and services, participated.

At the 12 conferences, which covered a range of subjects from customer experience and loyalty, to payments and revenue management, among others, opinions were heard, and new ideas lauded. One discussion, which involved Air India CEO Campbell Wilson and Riyadh Air CEO Tony Douglas, saw both the airlines ambitious about securing more traffic for their non-stop, long-haul network.

Since a sizable volume of international traffic from India and Saudi Arabia flows through overseas hubs, such as Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore, the CEOs felt shifting a few “percentage points” could make a difference to the current scenario.

Regarding a few mergers of airlines on the cards, Wilson said Air India was likely to be merged with Vistara, and Air India Express with AIX Connect.
Douglas was positive about the launch of a new national carrier that would make flying to Saudi Arabia easy. Right now, visiting the country requires transiting through “one of the big Arabian Gulf hubs”.

All the overseas hubs are big on connectivity as they fly large carriers.

However, Air India, the legendary flag carrier airline of India, and Riyadh Air, Saudi Arabia’s newest national airline launched only last year, are determined to soar stronger this year.


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