After having spent close to three weeks in South India I realize that it is unlikely that Air-India will recover passengers from this part of the country again
That is a very sweeping statement and incorrect as well. Air India is still the largest player in terms of passenger bookings from Cochin , Trivandrum and Calicut by a big margin (they have stiff competition from none other than Indain Airlines in Calicut and Cochin. The situation I agree may be different in Bangalore and Chennai where there is a lot of competition, but even in Chennai, Air India's flights to Singapore go chock full, despite intense competition from Malaysian, Singapore and Indian Airlines.
Of course many of the middle class Indian passengers are prep school snobs who find it fashionable to snub your own airline as they find it befitting their status to silently bear the insults hurled by many of the foreign cabin crew (Qatar Airways is one honourable execption) rather than accept that Air India offers a comparable or better service. But in reality, Air India with their convenient schedules (they are the only airline to offer daily flights non stop to DXB
from TRV,COK and CCJ) and competitive fares have no shortage in getting fares.
My brother is based at DXB
, and he travels home to TRV atleast twice an year and he prefers Air India as he says that being the only non stop player on the route, the flight time of 4 hours and a daily non stop flight beats everything else .
Air India may not much traffic to Europe or US anymore, I agree. But this is more due to the very efficent connections offered by a lot of middle east careers (I was able to fly out of TRV at 09 AM
and still land at LHR
by 1730), something which Air India flying via BOM is hard put to achieve. But even here, Air India is picking up a lot of passengers from BLR,MAA and COK through its hub and spoke operation flights using contracted out Iindian Airlines A320s using AI
[Edited 2004-12-25 12:38:45]