India Inc India Inc: Tuesday, 12 June 2012 11:01

SpiceJet to launch new routes to Dubai

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SpicejetWhile the Indian airline industry continues to struggle under the weight of mounting debt, SpiceJet seems to be determined to buck the trend. 

India’s low-cost private airline has announced two new routes to Dubai from Delhi and Mumbai, starting June 25.

This would be SpiceJet's third international destination after Delhi-Kathmandu and Chennai-Colombo and it plans to fly its New Generation Boeing 737-800 on these sectors.

SpiceJet CEO Neil Mills said it has received all the required regulatory approvals from the authorities in India as well as from Dubai to launch its services and put tickets on sale.

“The government of India has taken substantial and positive steps to open the market and allow private carriers to connect with new international destinations. To leverage the opportunity and offer quality services at affordable price to our guests, we are pleased to announce the launch of flights to Dubai with more exciting destinations coming soon,” he said.

SpiceJet will become the second Indian budget carrier to operate flights to Dubai after IndiGo, India's largest budget airline in terms of market share.

The start of services will add to the intense competition already on the India-Dubai sector, crowded by Indian carriers such as Air India and Jet Airways and overseas airlines such as Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Gulf Air.

Dubai, a hub for travel from India to Europe and North America, also has a strong population of expatriate Indians, making it all the more attractive for airlines to operate flights from the region.

India’s airline industry has been struggling over the past few months, with private carrier Kingfisher Airlines battling its mounting debt and state-owned Air India plagued by losses and strike action.

Foreign airlines are not allowed to take a stake in domestic Indian carriers but the Indian government is mulling a proposal to allow a 49 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) to counter this downward spiral.

However, there seems to be very little international interest given the West’s own financial turmoil.

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