The gloomy clouds of India’s aviation industry don’t seem to have put off foreign carriers. While few have decided to suspend India operations, many have and are planning to launch flights to India, a CAPA report emphasises.

Apparently the sluggish aviation industry in India hasn’t been able to discourage endeavours from foreign carriers. While some carriers might have chosen to pull out of the country, citing economic issues, a number of global players are still interested in spreading their wings wide in the Indian market, a report by the Center of Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) says.

And it is not just big economic hubs like Mumbai and Delhi that are attracting international flights but cities like Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Amritsar that are also featuring in the scheme of things for global players.

Virgin Atlantic, which suspended operations from Mumbai a couple of years ago, is scheduled to resume London-Mumbai flights from October. With the scrapping of Kingfisher Airlines’ Mumbai-London services, Virgin Atlantic will hope to emerge as a significant player on the route. Dragonair will be offering Kolkata bound flights to India from November. Abu Dhabi’s flag carrier, Etihad will offer an air travel connection between Abu Dhabi and Ahmedabad late this year. Also, Air China just recently started a direct Chengdu-Mumbai flight.

African carriers, too, seem to be going full steam ahead with their expansion plans. Kenya Airways began flights to Delhi from Nairobi earlier this month and is said to have identified Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad as destinations that it plans to expand to in the near future. The report suggested that Ethiopian Airlines has similar growth agenda.

CAPA report says that airlines like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines are being the most aggressive with their expansion plans for India.

The report also says that more global carriers are likely to follow suit and will enter the Indian market in some one or two years’ time. AirAsiaX may have suspended its cheap flights to India but several others are raring to enter the Indian turf!

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