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Data shows Indian airlines are monopolising the sky

PW Bureau

According to air travel intelligence company, 188 air routes have direct flights run by just one airline on that route, including Kolkata-Lucknow, Hyderabad-Raipur, Mumbai-Kanpur, Amritsar-Goa, Ahmedabad-Chandigarh and Pune-Indore New Delhi: Owing to reasons like increasing costs, mounting competition and a growing aviation market, India’s airlines have switched to a strategy under which they are operating flights on routes in which only one player in the fray runs direct flights, data from UK-based air travel intelligence company OAG, said. Recent data shows that they account for close to half of around 392 routes in the country. According to OAG, 188 air routes have direct flights run by just one airline on that route, including Kolkata-Lucknow, Hyderabad-Raipur, Mumbai-Kanpur, Amritsar-Goa, Ahmedabad-Chandigarh and Pune-Indore. Out of these, 35 are run under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme on which carriers enjoy flying exclusivity of three years. Out of the 188 routes, 108 are operated by IndiGo (61), and SpiceJet (47), the two largest budget carriers. GoAir, Air India, Air India Express, Alliance Air, Jet Airways, Air Deccan, Zoom Air and TruJet run the remaining 80.

123 routes do not involve metro airports

Data from OAG, which is based on this month’s figures filed by the airlines, also show that 123 of these routes do not involve any of the four metro airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. “The logic behind operating on monopoly routes is that if you are already flying on a route with high competition and are unable to command the pricing there, you would rather move to a route where you have no competition so you can charge higher fares,” former aviation industry professional Ameya Joshi said. “If there’s a one-stop route between two airports that has been operated for years, some airline would start a direct route between the two destinations if there is sizeable traffic going between the two points.”