tata: Tata-AI to be formidable competition, says IndiGo as it plans to make its medium hauls more comfortable for flyers

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NEW DELHI: India’s largest airline by market share, IndiGo, is looking at real competition for the first time thanks to Tataimminent acquisition of Air India and AI Express. The low-cost carrier is rebooking for the first time in comfort on board its flights, as passengers on its longest pre-pandemic route, Delhi-Istanbul, used to complain about this front.
“I see them as a formidable competition but I welcome them. It’s a sensible thing to do. I think they (IA owned by Tata) will be more financially responsible. Having a great actor funded by taxpayers is not a fair competition for us, ”said the CEO of IndiGo. Ronojoy Dutta he said at a CAPA Center for Aviation event on Wednesday.
For next summer, another ultra LCC, Akaka Air, promoted by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and backed by aviation veterans like Vinay dube and Aditya ghosh will take to the skies. At the CAPA event, Dutta said that it will take 2-3 years for the new entrant to expand operations and therefore be a less competitive threat than Tata airlines in the foreseeable future.
Since Tatas will be using AI’s extensive international long-haul network to its advantage, IndiGo realizes that its product offering on medium-haul flights should be slightly more comfortable than current slim seats. At the CAPA event, Dutta said the airline is considering improving seating comfort through better cushioning on some of its planes.
Tatas will now have four airlines: two low-cost AirAsia India and AI Express and as many full-service AI and Vistara. Merging these four, actually five, as the old AI and Indian Airlines merged in 2007, but the folds persist, will be a challenge for AI. Singapore Airlines, a 49% stakeholder in Vistara, has yet to jump on the Tata AI train. The salt-to-software conglomerate likely has a low-cost, full-service airline.
While Tata’s challenges in reviving AI are formidable, IndiGo faces a renewed legal battle between its co-founder / promoters: Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal at a time when the great blue of India’s skies is faced with the prospect of a real challenge from another Indian airline for the first time in years.
IndiGo, which controls almost 60% of the national market share, plans to expand its international presence by launching destinations in a seven-hour range that its Airbus A320 neo family of aircraft can fly nonstop.





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