The Telegraph
Friday , March 23 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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AI gains from Kingfisher woe

New Delhi, March 22: Air India is cashing in on the troubles engulfing Kingfisher Airlines by gaining market share and adding flights.

From March 25, the national carrier will implement the summer schedule, under which it will increase the seats offered on certain sectors and introduce more flights on its domestic and Asian networks.

“On the international front, Air India will operate all flights to Singapore with the Boeing-777 aircraft. Air India has also added a flight on Thursdays to Tokyo from Delhi, increasing the frequency to five,” a spokesperson for Air India said.

According to senior AI officials, the increase in the number of flights is part of its turnaround plan.

The airline will add a lot more flights and destinations after it gets to fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.

However, travel agents said Air India was making profits following Kingfisher’s exit from certain lucrative sectors.

“We had promised the ministry that we would increase flights and add new destinations. There has been a paradigm shift in the way we work in the last few months and we are sure that Dreamliner would help us streamline the airline more,” the official said. However, he denied that the increase in flights was because of the troubles plaguing Kingfisher.

“The increase is not in anyway connected to the downfall of any other private airline. Though the latest official figures are not out, we have gained market share in the last few months,” he said.

Air India is going back to the time-tested basics that had helped it to garner revenues in the first place.

Till 2008, it operated on few of the most lucrative routes that could be available to any national carrier.