BANGALORE: Bangalore is the IT hub of the country, a city where one can find people from around the country and also from around the globe. The industry most flourishing from this exodus of people is the airlines.
The two airports, Delhi and Mumbai are already holding the prestigious place constituting over 35 percent of all domestic traffic and is barely left with any capacity left with low-cost carriers utilizing the space. This is making the low-cost carriers turn towards Bangalore; with AirAsia deciding upon making Bangalore its hub of operations in the country, reports Rediff.
AirAsia challenged the domestic market leader IndiGo by operating most of its flight with cheap rates from the main hub Bangalore. With small carriers making its way to Bangalore, full-service carries and big airlines are following suit. Air Costa, a regional airliner has also joined the line-up. From June to the end of the year, as many as 64 additional flights will connect the city to existing as well as new destinations. According to Bangalore International Airport officials, the airport witnessed 12 percent growth in traffic between January and May this year as compared to the same period last year. Mittu Chandilya, the CEO of AirAsia India, says the decision to locate the airline's hub to Bangalore instead of Delhi or Mumbai was driven by the latent potential in the city. Bangalore known as the country’s Silicon Valley is experiencing high diversity of people and providing a great potential for Airlines to expand their wings to start new popular and in-demand prospective destinations like Chandigarh, and Patna, which have no direct flights available.
AirAsia is going to put six out of its eight aircraft to service in the night with 40 flights to and from Bangalore by the end of December this year. It has plans to connect the city to several small cities in India. Air Costa, plans to add Patna, Raipur and Jodhpur to the network and IndiGo is gearing up plans to introduce five new flights from the city by October this year.
With airlines gearing up their services to and from Bangalore, fliers are enthusiastic about these plans. The main reason behind Bangalore’s increasing popularity is the lack of space in Delhi and Mumbai airports. “In Delhi, there is no capacity available in the 1D terminal which is the low-cost terminal. You have to go to the T-3 terminal. But you cannot have low-cost operations from two terminals as that add to cost. So you have to look elsewhere," says a senior executive of a low-cost carrier.
In 2013-14, Bangalore with its sizeable IT crowd had grabbed over 8.3 per cent of the country's domestic passenger traffic, which is much more than that of Hyderabad or any other city in the country.
As the airlines are making grand entries into Bangalore Airport, the authorities are working towards helping the airlines with the recent 40 percent discount on landing and parking charges to all airlines with their headquarters in Bangalore.