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Air India's monopoly on international routes slashed
Shekhar Niyogi, Kolkata, March 30, 2012

INDIA’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has freed up eleven international routes that flag carrier Air India had a monopoly on but did not utilise despite existing bilateral air service agreements, opening up the possibility of an influx of new connections.


Flights from Mumbai to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), and from New Delhi to Guangzhou, Yangon, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Macau, Melbourne, Sydney, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and Almaty (Kazakhstan) are now available to competing airlines such as Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet.


Vijay Dadhich, managing director, Blue Moon Travels New Delhi said: “More flights result in more tourist movements, both inbound and outbound. We will see good passenger load to Macau, Sydney, Melbourne, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a great move, although a long time coming.”


Meanwhile, the ministry has ramped up allocation of traffic rights across the board, resulting in a jump in flight operations by Indian carriers.


Air India and Air India Express have been granted 471 flights per week for summer 2012 and 577 flights per week for winter 2012, compared to 332 weekly summer flights and 430 weekly winter flights last year.


This year, Air India and Air India Express frequencies to Dubai will rise from 94 to 109 flights a week; to Abu Dhabi from 39- to 47-weekly; to Sharjah from 33- to 49-weekly; to Doha from 42- to 48-weekly; and to Saudi Arabia from 42- to 48-weekly.

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