Tuesday, July 05, 2005

India Aviation update

In the age of low cost airlines, value priced airlines, one airline is distinctly contrarian. Jet Airways with its service, including cold towel, breakfast (lunch/snacks/dinner) has not lowered its price yet. True, it has apex fares, but thats about it. With its penchant for punctuality, better service it is perhaps the most preferred by the corporate sector. Its food quality could do with some improvement though, as noted in 3 of my last 4 flights.

The race for the most preferred would have been won by either of Indian Airlines or Sahara, except that Sahara has been beset by pilot attrition. Yet, Sahara runs a nifty small jet service, the CRJ on the smaller sectors (like say, Bhubaneshwar-Hyderabad). These planes are spacious, small with leather seats giving a plush feel. They are far better and faster than ATRs. Saharas inflight auctions (donations) are innovative. This time on a Sahara flight, I was pleasantly surprised by Subway sandwiches, offered as lunch.

Even as the low cost carriers undercut on price, service innovations are coming from the regular airlines.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the big boys of Indian aviation are trying to erect entry barriers to prevent the low cost attack that is currently on in Indian skies.

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