Saturday, February 20, 2010

BIA spreading its wings far and wide

BIA spreading its wings far and wide

Monica Jha



The city's global connections are set to strengthen further this month. Two more international airlines are scheduled to operate from the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) soon. Qatar Airways is commencing its operations in the city on February 23, while Air China is entering Bangalore's skies the following day.
Qatar Airways will be operating daily flights between Doha and Bangalore with an Airbus A321 aircraft. Air China will fly on the Shanghai-Chengdu-Bangalore route. Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur has already begun its daily operations from the BIA.
Airlines like Oman Air, Sri Lankan Airways, Malaysian Airlines and Tiger Airways are looking to increase their weekly frequencies, and Lufthansa and Air France, which had pared down their flights from the city, have expressed their readiness to re-start the cancelled operations.
Freighters FedEx, Aryan air cargo and Quikjet too have expressed their intention to begin operating from the BIA later this year.
At present, 17 international passenger airlines and three international freighters — Lufthansa, Etihad and Singapore Airlines — are operating from the BIA.
The city is currently connected to Manama, Bangkok, Colombo, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Kuala Lumpur, London, London Heathrow, Male, Mauritius, Muscat, Paris, Sharjah and Singapore.
"The airport is also looking at adding two new international carriers every year. The focus will be on connecting Bangalore to cities in China, Africa and the United States of America. The increased focus across airlines is to tweak frequencies in line with yields and projected demand to create sustainable operations. Increased aircraft capacities and hence new passenger demand for the BIA in the near-to-midterm will primarily come from airlines based in Asia and West Asia," an airport spokesperson said.
"The future at the international airport looks positive with new airlines, and increased frequencies and traffic numbers. The airport is looking at the addition of four new routes (three international and one domestic) every year," the spokesperson added.

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