Low-cost carrier SpiceJet will launch its international operations in June with flights to Kathmandu, Colombo and Dhaka, a move that could spark off a fare war in these lucrative sectors.
Online PR News – 23-March-2010 – – Low-cost carrier SpiceJet will launch its international operations in June with flights to Kathmandu, Colombo and Dhaka, a move that could spark off a fare war in these lucrative sectors. The Delhi-based airline will take on full-service carriers Air India and Jet Airways along and the latter’s no-frills subsidiary JetLite that operates to these destinations.
“It would be truly low-cost,” said a SpiceJet executive, while refusing to get into specifics. “The airline would serve its foreign network with its current fleet of B737s,” he said, requesting anonymity. Currently a return ticket on most of these flights costs upwards of Rs 12,000, but SpiceJet’s entry could be a game changer.
India receives nearly 15% of its about 5.4 million foreign tourists from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. A good number of people from Nepal come to India for work. Increasing trade ties between the Saarc countries in recent years have seen a spurt in business travel as well. “Air traffic in these routes have been growing at 13-14%,” Amadeus India managing director Ankur Bhatia said. An Air India official said the airline’s operations to Saarc destinations were doing ‘just fine’. “Entry of another airline can make things worse for existing players,” he said, requesting anonymity. Jet Airways executives could not be contacted for comments.
SpiceJet will complete five years of operations in May. As per rules, domestic carriers can fly overseas if it has completed five years of operations in the domestic market and have a fleet of at least 20 aircraft. Naresh Goyal-controlled Jet Airways was the first private carrier to operate international routes after the government opened up international routes in 2003-04. Airlines usually offer attractive prices when they start operations on new routes.