The indefinite closure of India’s biggest private airline Jet Airways has thrown the airline industry in the country into chaos, and there is no clarity yet on when the airline is going to be back in business. The massive debt burden finally caught up with Jet and after a consortium of banks refused to issue a short term loan, the airline halted operations. However, according to reports, the shortage of so many flights has resulted in a bit of a boon for Jet’s rival airlines and some foreign airlines that ply their trade in the country. It is also important to point out that Jet used to run international flights to key locations like Bali, New York, Dubai and London. In this situation, it has opened up a huge opportunity for some of the world’s biggest airlines to corner a portion of the market as the country still grapples with the shortage of flights.
It is important to point out that even before Jet’s troubles, some of the foreign airlines like Cathay Pacific and British Airways among others recorded a rise of around 27% in passengers from the country as fares quickly spun out of control. However, the latest events have opened up an opportunity of a lifetime for these airlines. Despite Jet Airways’ troubles, one thing that is going to be at the top of the mind of most international airlines is that India remains the fastest growing airline market in the world, and it is no wonder that these airlines are now making a beeline for as many as million travellers, who can no longer fly on Jet.
This could well turn out into a long term play for these airlines. An analyst stated that this is perhaps the best time for these foreign players to make a mark in the market. The analyst said,
“For the next three months, it’s actually bonanza time for international players. At least until the middle of June, the fares are not going to come down.”
Recently Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific stated that the company is looking to raise its capacity in the country. The airline also stated that it is not only going to raise the number of flights on routes they already operate but also add new routes for second-tier cities in the country. It could well be a once in a lifetime opportunity for foreign airlines.