Monday, October 15, 2007

India travel?

 I am was glad that Airbus was able to finally deliver its first plane to Singapore Airlines last week.  The maiden flight is scheduled for Oct 25th and I am holding my breath for one of the American or European majors to fly it to Hyderabad.  I have heard rumors about British airways flying direct to Hyderabad by end of next year and I hope it will be in one of the A 380s.  Air traffic from India to US is bound to increase in leaps and bounds in the near future.  The upward trend is already quite evident as anyone flying to Hyderabad can tell based on the completely booked Northwest and Lufthansa flights. However, to me it seems that European airlines are at an economic advantage over their american counterparts in serving asian markets.  Although airlines like Continental and Delta have started direct flights to New Delhi, I don't think they will have major traffic to other Indian cities such as Hyderabad and Bangalore.  European carriers such as KLM and Lufthansa on the other hand will be able to combine traffic from various american destinations at their european hubs and then launch direct flights to Indian cities.  My logic applies to chinese cities as well.  Thrown in a major middle-east carrier such as Air Emirates or Qatar Airways, and then you are also looking at more options with a different flight-time configuration.  If you fly via Europe you are looking at 8-10 hours to a european city such as Amsterdam and then 8-9 hours to Hyderabad from there.  If you fly via Dubai, then you are looking at 14-15 hours to Dubai from the US and then another 4 hour trip to Hyderabad.  No matter which route you take you can get to Hyderabad in about 18 hours of flight time.  Air India is screwed, soon, if not immediately. 

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