Posts Tagged ‘Qatar’

Major airlines target India for expansion

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Some of the world’s major airlines are looking to India for expansion and are applying to the country’s aviation authority for a larger allocation of seats and access to more airports. However, they are facing a battle with India’s own international and domestic carriers as they too aim to expand. Among the carriers looking for greater access to the sub-continent are Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Qatar and Emirates.

According to officials, Emirates already has a weekly allowance of 54,000 seats. Qatar has 23,000 and both airlines are looking to expand their business. Lufthansa said it would like to start flying its Airbus A380s to and from India, and this will obviously require a larger seat allocation.

Since 2009, the number of seats being offered has increased by fewer than 9,000. Officials say these were offered to Qatar, but that the airline is still not using all of them. The aviation authority said that instead of increasing the number of seats offered to foreign carriers; it would like to see Indian grown airlines taking a more prominent position on the international stage.

Jet Airways, which currently flies between Bombay and Milan on a daily basis has been permitted to add Bombay to Rome to its itinerary. The airline will also be the first Indian carrier to fly passengers between Bombay and Amsterdam.

At present, four out of every 10 international flights in and out of India are by Indian airlines. The aviation authority said that over the coming months it hoped that this figure would grow by at least 10 per cent.

Virgin Atlantic stake may be sold by Singapore Airlines

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Airline analysts are watching Singapore Airlines closely to see how its new chief executive officer will deal with the carrier’s underperforming stake in Virgin Atlantic. Goh Choon Phong took over the top job from Chew Choon Seng on 1 January. His predecessor had already expressed an interest in divesting the airlines shares in Virgin.

Since 2000, when SIA acquired its 49 per cent stake, the shape of the airline industry across Asia has changed dramatically. Fierce competition is now coming from budget carriers like Jetstar and AirAsia. SIA’s market share of the extremely lucrative business market is also under renewed attack from airlines such as Korean and Cathay Pacific.

A further challenge is being offered up in the Middle East where airlines including Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are rapidly building their fleets on routes via their hubs to Asia and Europe. It is therefore believed that SIA will want to give up any plans for global expansion and concentrate its efforts on defending itself against the increasing pressures of the Asian market.

Virgin Atlantic has announced that it has been approached by various international carriers about a possible tie-up. The airline is 51 per cent owned by Sir Richard Branson, and unless he gives up his control, and SIA sells its share, it is unlikely that any other carrier is going to be willing to enter into an alliance.

Deutsche Bank has been put in charge of looking at the options available and, according to Virgin, Singapore Airlines has been supportive of the move.