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Indian PMs Openskies Invite To Asean Stings AI  
User currently offlineGamps From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 469 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1849 times:

The usual suspects are making the usual noises. Another report from Bombay says both Malaysian Airlines and Singapore Airlines are planning to upgrade their India ops once the details of Open Skies policies are out.

Cheers

From IANS:

Vajpayee's ASEAN diplomacy stings Air-India

IANS

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister A B Vajpayee's open sky offer to airlines of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) may have heartened the trade and tourism industry but has dismayed flag carrier Air-India (AI), which fears huge losses.

"We do not know why the government took such a decision and whether it has a big picture that bypasses AI's losses, but no other country has taken such a decision," a senior airline official told IANS.

Vajpayee had told leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries in Bali, Indonesia, that their airlines would be allowed to fly as many flights to India as they wanted, disregarding the quota system, sans bilateral arrangements.

While giving no official response, AI made it clear that the decision was unfair and contrary to its interests, particularly at a time it was trying to acquire fleet to increase its operations.

"It is naturally a big blow for us that so much capacity is going to be inducted even before we increase our fleet," the official said. "This will make it difficult for us to recapture the market later."

However, travel industry representatives have welcomed the expected increase in the capacity to Southeast Asia.

If the countries take up India on this offer, it would open direct air links to Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Laos for the first time.

Only carriers like Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysian Airlines have flights to the main cities at present.

For AI, the flipside of the boost in travel is the loss due to the availability of many more options for U.S.-bound travellers. The airline is also unhappy about the announcement that no bilateral arrangement would be needed for the ASEAN airlines to fly to India.

"Can you apply such a rule selectively with some countries? What is the logic behind that?" asked an official, who did not wish to be identified.

Responding to criticism about the airline's inability to fulfil most of its bilateral arrangements - whereby two countries open up each other's airspace - the official said: "We are utilising bilateral arrangements to the maximum."

He pointed out that out of 97 countries with which India has such pacts, only 45 countries operated flights to India as the rest did not see much of a market here. "So why blame us?" the official asked.

After New Delhi's announcement for ASEAN countries, airlines from there would not have to sign arrangements with AI before being allowed to operate their flights.

AI has been often accused of not being able to take advantage of its bilateral rights due to its inadequate fleet.

Tourism industry representatives anticipate that quite a few airlines from ASEAN countries would queue up to avail themselves of India's offer, even though it was not easy to add new destinations.

These countries can also be hubs for onward flights to the West, Southeast Asia and Far East, they said, citing the US West Coast, China, Japan and Australia.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4716 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1835 times:

Malaysian Airlines (MAS) has already stated in many Indian and Asian papers that it has welcomed this move and is wanting to go daily to BOM and DEL from the current 4 weekly frequencies.

No announcement as yet from TG or SQ.

Isnt there a market for PR to tap in India? PR (Phillippine Airlines) can easily fly its A 333s via BKK to India (BOM-DEL-BLR-MAA) and then take pax to MNL (where there are 1000s of Indians) or onwards to Japan, Australia and more important LAX-SFO and YVR with modern B 744s and A 340s.


User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4716 posts, RR: 44
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1825 times:

If AI had an improved image, product and customer service level then they wouldnt be cribbing. They are crying over open skies to 10 ASEAN countries, what about EMIRATES and SINGAPORE AIRLINES...out of DXB and SIN every airline has the freedom to operate to wherever it sure well pleases. Just look at the number of airlines flying BKK-SIN SIN-SYD SIN-MEL SIN-LHR DXB-LHR etc etc.

I have not read anywhere of EMIRATES nor SQ crying foul on the issue of open skies over DXB and SIN!!!


User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1735 times:

Behramjee - cf. SQ and QF battling for traffic rights on the Oz-USA routes...

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1697 times:

These articles are highly alarmist and typical of the uneducated so-called aviation journalists in India, and sadly even more so of the babu bureaucracy who view liberalization as a step backwards.

So far, both Thailand and Malaysia have officially offered reciprocal open-skies with India in exchange, so its not like this is a one-way handout. Of course, that doesn't make news for whatever reason.


User currently offlineAsianguy767 From Singapore, joined Oct 2003, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1680 times:

if anything AI should take this as a sure sign that it has to shape up or lose out n cant hide as being 'state run' anymore! i suspect the indian govt may start allowing its private indian domestic airlines to fully utilise this open skies pact with ASEAN countries...

User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1667 times:

"So far, both Thailand and Malaysia have officially offered reciprocal open-skies with India in exchange, so its not like this is a one-way handout. Of course, that doesn't make news for whatever reason."

So what?

If Air India cannot operate additional flights for whatever reason and the Indian government will not let private airlines into the international market, what good are Open-Skies for India's airlines? Of course consumers benefit but that seems like a secondary or tertiary consideration when it comes to protecting state-owned airlines.


User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12325 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1634 times:

While I'm always a supporter of liberalisation, I can understand AI's annoyance. It has been running into government and civil service obstacles in trying to replace its fleet for the last decade, most recently with the announcement that the whole plan had to be cancelled and started from scratch. If it were allowed to complete fairly with SQ (which can do what it likes on the fleet front) and TG/MH (which also have a lot more freedom than AI), then I think it would get a decent fleet, upgrade what it has and complete on a level playing field. AI is well capable of it, but has been held back by its own government and the Indian civil service.

User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4716 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1620 times:

Well if AI and IC dont have the extra aircraft needed to fly to ASEAN countries more often, JET AIRWAYS and SAHARA have long range B 737-700/800s which can easily fly India-SIN/KUL/BKK etc NONSTOP so why not give these 2 airlines the chance to prove themselves in the Intl market to see how they fair up against AI-IC!!!

It will be a gutsy move on the part of the Indian Govt who is bent on making sure that AI-IC are the only national airlines of India who can fly pax internationally  Sad



User currently offlineZizou From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 1535 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1579 times:

Is Sri Lanka in ASEAN. If so, we are more than happy to take up the flights that Air India can't operate to KUL, SIN, BKK for one reason or another!!!  Smile

User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4716 posts, RR: 44
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1566 times:

I dont know if Sri Lanka is part of ASEAN but if it is then they will benefit greatly by this move due to their geographical location and close proxmity to India.

They have been eager to add more flights to all their currently flown Indian destinations + add a few more cities.

Lots of Indians choose UL to fly to MALE which is the Hawaii of the Indian Subcontinent.


User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4716 posts, RR: 44
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1554 times:

Read this from THE HINDU BUSINESSLINE :

Addressing the India-Asean Summit, Mr Vajpayee said the designated airlines of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will be allowed to operate daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai without having to enter into bilateral air-services talks with India. Besides, Mr Vajpayee also offered unlimited number of flights to these airlines to another 18 tourist destinations, including such places as Goa and Bhubaneswar.

Now, the designated airlines of four of the Asean members — Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei — operate flights to various destinations in India. So the real beneficiaries of Mr Vajpayee's statement would be the designated airlines of the other six nations which will now be able to start operating daily flights to the four metros.

Of course, the airlines of the former group, can start flights to metros they do not serve now; for instance, Singapore Airlines, which does not have daily flights to cities like Kolkata, can look to starting a service without worrying about signing bilateral rights with India.

Besides, the Asean airlines can also operate flights to bring tourists to 18 other destinations, which will, hopefully, give a boost to the local economy. If more Asean airlines start operating to India, fares could move south, providing a further impetus for tourists to travel within the region.

Officials of Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airlines have welcomed the open-skies decision. The Chairman of the Expert Committee of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Aviation and Tourism, Mr Subhash Goyal, said the flow of tourists from the Asean region would definitely increase.

The Chief Executive Officer of Kuoni Travel Group, Mr Ranjit Malkani, said that the move will lead to the decline in monopoly of national carriers (Air India/Indian Airlines) and thereby take competition to a higher level, leading the airlines to price their products more competitively, offer discounts and provide value-added services in a bid to lure the travellers.

While the attempts at closer integration with Asean are welcome, what is difficult to understand is how nothing seems to being done, at least apparently, to ensure some relief to the two state owned airlines which also operate flights to several Asean destinations.

Neither Air India nor Indian Airlines has been able to acquire new aircraft in the past several years.

They are managing with leased capacity, while their competitors, including several from Asean, have been inducting newer aircraft some of which are being used on flights to India.

To give just one example. Indian Airlines has been waiting for more than one-and-half years to get the Government's nod for the purchase of new aircraft, which would enable it offer more flights and operate on newer routes.

But Malaysian national carrier, Malaysian Airlines, has signed the deal to acquire the double-decker 550-seater Airbus A-380 aircraft, which is scheduled to enter service several years from now.

Besides, there is a fear that the Asean airlines may not just be bringing passengers to India but also taking travellers from India to their homebase and beyond. Something that will surely hurt the financial fortunes of AI.

In the final analysis, while Mr Vajpayee's statement can bring about greater economic benefit for India in terms of more tourist arrivals, there is a feeling that something should have been done to help India's airlines also, especially as air services bilaterals are generally agreed to on a reciprocal basis.


User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1505 times:

First thing would be to improve Dehli's international Airport infrastructure.
For a first time traveler into Dehli's international terminal, the arrival is very confusing and not up to India's desired standards.
Once you get out of the terminal there ist just chaos and finding local transportation becomes extremely confusing.Also the handling of transit passengers arriving during night in Dehli and having to depart on domestic flights some hours later is not very pleasant.
The opening of India for more competition will push AI to offer better services- which might not be such a bad move.



Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineBehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4716 posts, RR: 44
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

"Mr Vajpayee also offered unlimited number of flights to these airlines to another 18 tourist destinations"

***I would like to know from someone the names of all these 18 destinations especially if the key cities of Bangalore-Kochi-Trivandrum-Hyderabad etc are included in it especially BLR and HYD.

If Air India want to compete with these ASEAN carriers then it better act fast and lease a few more B 744s to start LAX-SFO flights ASAP or let Lufthansa fly more flights to BLR-HYD and other Indian cities as LH is very close to AI when it comes to codesharing etc etc out of India.


User currently offlineGamps From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 469 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1497 times:

Behramjee - from what I have read, Bangalore and Hyderabad do not figure in the list. Surprising considering both these airports have seen increase in International traffic and more carriers interested to fly there. SQ is already saying if given a chance they would like to fly everyday to Bangalore (currently 3 times a week). Cochin is in the list and so is Gaya.

But I know Thai Airlines has done some groundwork at Bangalore and have/had plans for Bangkok - Bangalore sometime next year. Most probably AI codeshare will be forced on them as they have done for SQ/MH out of Bangalore. Or may be not, considering Thailand - India aviation agreement (after the open skies was declared) signed last week allows Thai to fly to more than 12 (?) places in India.

Cheers


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1429 times:

I would like to know from someone the names of all these 18 destinations

For starters, the article is incorrect (as usual). There are only 12 destinations designated as ASEAN open skies gateways so far, in addition to the 4 metro cities.

The 12 open skies gateways are :

PAT / VEPT - Patna
LKO / VILK - Lucknow
GAU / VEGT - Guwahati
GAY / VEGY - Gaya
VNS / VIBN - Varanasi
BBI / VEBS - Bhubaneshwar
HJR / VAKJ - Khajuraho
CCJ / VOCL - Kozhikode
ATQ / VIAR - Amritsar
VTZ / VEVZ - Visakhapatnam
AMD / VAAH - Ahmedabad
TRZ / VOTR - Tiruchirapalli

Airlines may institute ANY NUMBER of flights to those destinations.

They may also institute upto ONE DAILY FLIGHT EACH to the following destinations without having to obtain bilateral clearance.

BOM / VABB - Mumbai
DEL / VIDP - Delhi
CCU / VECC - Kolkota
MAA / VOMM - Chennai

[Edited 2003-10-13 18:00:03]

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