Mumbai: Ahead of rival, low fare carrier SpiceJet starting regional connectivity with small planes, country’s largest airline by passengers carried Jet Airways (India) Ltd is set to increase its regional connectivity, effective from 27 March.
SpiceJet, controlled by media baron Kalanithi Maran of Sun TV Network Ltd, will start connecting Tier II cities starting June. On Thursday, Jet Airways said it will start new routes connecting the Tier II cities of central India like Raipur, Indore, Bhopal, and Nagpur with the south Indian cities of Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kochi with small planes ATR and medium-sized planes Boeing 737.
On 25 February, Mint had reported that SpiceJet is altering its business model with the induction of fifteen 78-seater Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft in the 13-month period starting June and equipping itself to fly to about 100 domestic destinations as it expands regional coverage even as it tries to remain profitable.
The same story has also said Jet Airways has added six more ATRs to take them to a total 20 since October. Metro routes—connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata—account for 25% of the airline passenger traffic within India, the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world.
“Tiruchirapally is to be linked with Chennai via a daily ATR service. Apart from these services, Bhubaneshwar will also have better connectivity with Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad apart from connecting to Raipur,Indore, Bhopal and Nagpur in the summer schedule. In addition to which Vijayawada and Tiruchirapally will also be provided with the same day connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore,” Jet said in a statement.
The ATR services will also connect Kolkata and central India starting from 27 March.
Incidentally, the second largest airline Kingfisher Airlines Ltd has also announced launching 11 new flights starting next week. Out this majority of routes are connecting Tier II cities linking metro destinations.
According to Airports Authority of India traffic statistics for April-November 2010, there are about 10 towns that see passenger traffic of 300-1,000 travellers per day. These include Ranchi, Madurai, Udaipur, Bhopal, Leh, Aurangabad, Dibrugarh, Rajkot, Tirupati and Silchar.