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Update NEWS


NEWS


Scheme aims to boost domestic connectivity


Dubai World puts faith in new routes


India to fuel aircraft boom


Huge predicted growth in the Indian aviation sector will fuel a boom in aircraft orders worth up to $290 billion over the next 20 years, manufacturer Boeing has claimed. The American company estimates the nation could need up to 2,100 aircraft – around 5.1% of forecast global air sales – as both domestic and international markets enjoy strong growth. “The increasing number of passengers combined with a strong exchange rate, low fuel prices and high load factor bodes well for India’s aviation market, especially for the low-cost carriers,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific and India sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Commercial aerospace demand in India continues to grow at unprecedented rates.” OAG figures reveal that the number of scheduled domestic departure seats rose from 69.9 million in 2007


to 125.9 million in 2016. Year-on-year, domestic capacity leapt 18.7% from 2015 to 2016, while international capacity rose 9.1%. India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) is expected to drive future domestic growth. The programme will subsidise flights to underserved regional cities, making air travel more accessible for India’s working and middle classes. In March 2017, five airlines were


selected by India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation to operate 128 new routes that will connect to 45 underserved or unserved airports. Boeing said it expected single-aisle


aircraft, such as the next generation 737 and 737 Max, to account for the bulk of the new deliveries over the next two decades, with India likely to take 1,780 such aircraft. The company launched the 737 MAX 10 jet in June at the Paris Air Show as it seeks to compete with the strong sales of Airbus’ A321neo.


Dubai World Central Airport is putting its faith in new routes to south Asia and the Gulf states to continue growth. With the ongoing ban on flights between the UAE and Qatar hitting it hard – Doha accounted for 40.6% of capacity in the first three months of 2017 – the airport is looking far and wide for opportunities. “Our major targets remain point-


to-point traffic to unserved and underserved routes in the Indian subcontinent, the Philippines, GCC states, CIS and Eastern Europe,” said the airport’s Zaigham Ali. “We are in talks with several airlines from these regions.” Dubai World Central has enjoyed


strong growth recently, serving 850,633 passengers in 2016 – a leap of 84.5% on the previous year. Flydubai is now the largest airline by capacity at the airport with 47,000 seats in Q2 2017, while Condor and Himalaya Airlines have announced new routes. The airport currently has a passenger terminal with capacity of five million passengers per annum and it can accommodate a single Airbus A380-compatible runway. However, it is currently in the midst of a $32 billion development project that will ultimately allow it to cater for more than 240 million passengers per year and accommodate 100 A380 aircraft at any one time. The entire development will cover an area of 56 km sq.


Summer 2018 launch for WestJet offshoot


Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet has confirmed its new “ultra- low-cost”offshoot should launch in summer 2018, with schedules expected early in the new year. The as-yet-unnamed carrier will


begin operations with 10 high-density Boeing 737-800s requisitioned from the parent fleet. EVP Bob Cummings is heading up the leadership team. WestJet was founded in 1996 as a low-cost alternative to Air


New carrier will offer “no-frills, lower-cost options”


Canada and Canadian Airlines and has expanded steadily in recent years. In 2017 its domestic capacity is expected to grow to 20.8 million available seats, up from 19.5 million in 2016. It said the new carrier would


offer “no-frills, lower-cost travel options” while broadening its growth opportunities and opening new market segments by “offering more choices to Canadians looking for lower fares”. No route details have been announced.


routesonline.com ROUTES NEWS 2017 ISSUE 5 9


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