Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bigger the better; any day for Indian Aviation!

Year 2014 is quickly coming to a close. It has been a fantastic year of travel for me so far. With careful planning of my travel and holidays, I managed to visit as many as three international destinations so far and chuck them off my bucket list. First Indonesia and Singapore earlier in Summer and now Thailand in Winter. Keeping those beautiful experiences aside, introspecting my travels on the financial front as an average Indian (with tight dependency on a day job for finance!), I can clearly see my affordability has increased considerably compared to my parents. This trend reflects the bigger picture of affordability by young Indians for traveling compared to the previous generation. Flourishing face of many international travel meetups in India only confirms this trend!

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So what's buzzing?

India's economic growth and the rising income levels of the middle class are contributing to more and more Indians affording to fly in the country of billions! According to a report published by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Indian annual passenger traffic grew 8.6% in 2013 compared to the world average of 4.7%. It is said that today one in 20 Indians travel by air and in 2032 this number will increase five-fold to a quarter of the population and the number of Indian cities with more than a million passengers every month will have grown to 13 from today’s two!

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Oh wait!! even I am not a big fan of stats :) To put those figures in simple English, this only means 'the demand for air travel' has increased manifold in India and is growing drastically by the day!

This is in fact a great news for our aviation Industry because this increasing demand has created a positive ripple on various 'supply' sectors including Airport infrastructure development, hospitality, advertising and manpower development to name a few. Thus creating an unprecedented investment and growth opportunity for both public and private sectors!

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All looks great then!

No, contrarily there is chaos! More and more passengers meant more flights and increasingly congested tarmacs. Requirement for infrastructure in the airports to handle those numbers, immigration and traffic control for safe movement, green gas emissions etc etc etc! You get the big picture there right?

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Oops .. did we even sort this problem yet?

"We don't want to stop the growth opportunity and at the same time don't want to get choked by the congestion!", is what our aviation industry was thinking for quite some time. Well, year 2014 that way is an important landmark for Indian aviation industry because it finally woke up from slumber and addressed this problem in a smart way by lifting the ban on operating Airbus A380, in January! Now these big birds can freely land at the country's four main busy airports - New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, which are equipped already to handle these huge planes :-)


Airbus A380?? ... I can hear you saying, 'how does this even help'?

Well yes, in fact to a great extent! For a market like India with exponentially growing demand, BIGGER is definitely BETTER any day! and it is the best possible way to go! Airbus A380 comes with a unique double deck layout and a full wide-bodied construction that can be equipped to seat up to 800 passengers at a time! This increased capacity and the inherent flexibility of the double deck layout allows airlines to address a wider range of passenger classes and levels of comfort in a single plane. Thus reducing on the number of planes required on the same circuit to handle multitude of passengers!
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Now do you see how smartly the twin problem of traffic congestion and mega-market demand is being easily addressed by using A380?

Sounds interesting? Here's more for you! :)

 A380 is a win-win deal for both airlines and the operating airports. Once there is enough infrastructure in place to land this big-bird, busy airports are massively benefited by handling more number of out-bound passengers to a destination at the same time. This reduces the number of operational aircraft required to handle the same amount of crowd to the same destination, thereby bringing down human congestion and on-the-ground congestion at the same time for busy airports. Such a sigh of relief to our aviation industry!! And as for airlines, for the same operating cost more number of people are getting transported than ever before. In fact Airbus A380 is known for 12% more fuel efficiency than other airlines, now compute the profit math for yourself! ;-)

India has successfully landed these big-birds from three major airlines so far and has been seeing a steady improvement in handling requirements in busy sectors along with easing the ground congestion. The latest airlines to join the A380 bandwagon being Lufthansa, the flag carrier of Germany and also the largest airline in Europe!

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Lufthansa A380 now proudly connects Frankfurt to our country's capital New Delhi!!!! 

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The historic first landing happened last month on Nov 08th, when our prestigious Indira Gandhi International Airport received the megaliner with a traditional water cannon salute!! A proud moment to watch and share.



And now here's why I think the new #LufthansaA380 is a game changer and will bring 'Achche din' for Indian Aviation!!
  • Thanks to its humongous 520 passengers capacity, #LufthansaA380 is now offering 140 more seats a day to Frankfurt from what was offered earlier in total! With the average growth in passenger traffic between Europe and India increasing in the last five years and with India recently extending its arms in welcoming German nationals with visa-on-arrival ETA scheme, more in-bound traffic is expected in the forthcoming years!! This mega addition has come at the right time and is certainly a boon for Indian aviation in answering the rising demand in this already high and soon going-to-be-heavy volume sector!
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  • The new #LufthansaA380 provides unprecedented levels of comfort with its state of the art technology. With latest in-flight 5 star ranked First Class, the sophisticated new business class with seats that turn into full flat-beds and a comfort enhanced Economy Class with more legroom and wide seats, without doubt it is sure to impress all categories of Indian travelers who want to experience the luxury and glamour of international air travel at affordable fares :)
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  • Owing to its long range flying capability, #LufthansaA380 can fly an impressively long distance before having to be re-fueled. This means New Delhi-Frankfurt sector and vice versa could be quickly covered non-stop without any need to stop mid-way. This is a great benefit for travelers who want to reach their destination quickly without having to hop in the middle! I think this certainly adds another dimension of meaning to their company slogan "Nonstop you!!" and people would certainly love it :)

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  • With its impressive fuel efficiency and the ability to carry more number of passengers at the same time, Lufthansa will be able to provide better deals on the prices for this sector. Which will inevitability make it a preferred airline!
  • Last but not the least with its silent promise to eliminate the need for extra aircraft, this green giant is helping to bring down the Indian air transport sector's greenhouse gas emissions!! An important consideration that goes unnoticed otherwise.

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Currently #LufthansaA380 only operates to our country's capital and is expected to cover Mumbai sector from the summer of 2015. Here is only hoping they soon connect all our major busy airports and help ease both the demand and supply!

So what are you waiting for? head to Lufthansa India website (http://a380.lufthansa.com/TAKEPART/#/DE/EN/home) for more information about their new fleet of A380s, their connectivity and flying schedules. Book your tickets, comfortably hop-on in one and experience the new fascination of flight! :)

PS: This post was written as part of IndiBogger topic "Lufthansa A380 – The dawn of a new era"

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