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Singapore Airlines to increase flights to India

Expansion likely on Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore routes.



7 July, 2005: Singapore flights from India may get easier in the days to come, with Singapore Airlines (SIA) is planning to beef up its flights to Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. SIA is also plannng to fly to some secondary markets in India. Singapore Airlines, which now flies thrice a week to Bangalore, wants to increase it to a daily schedule, SIA officials said in Bangalore.

At present, SIA operates 41 weekly flights to India, comprising 14 to Mumbai (twice a day), three flights to Bangalore, Kolkatta, Ahmedabad and Amritsar and daily flights to Delhi and Chennai. Besides, Singapore Airlines subsidiary, Silk Air, operates 12 flights a week to Hyderabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

Singapore Airlines claims that its offers like the "Sweet Deal" and "Great Singapore Steal" had elicited good response from air passengers. The Great Singapore Steal enables passengers to buy tickets before July 31 and travel upto September 30, apart from leaving giving an option of changing the flight date wit no extra charge. But the offer is not open for US-India flights. 

According to Singapore Airlines, there is a huge demand for more flights to Bangalore. Most of the Bangalore flights were operating at optimum capacity throughout the year, said Mr Ong. About flying to secondary markets, the Singapore Airlines official said currently, SIA is flying to Ahmedabad and Amritsar.

"We are interested in expanding operations in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. However, a lot will depend upon the air-service agreement to be inked between India and Singapore. "Talks are on between both the governments but we will have to wait and watch,"said BK Ong, SIA India general manager. In the last two years, SIA had witnessed a traveller growth of 20% to 30%. There has been a significant rise in passenger traffic out of India and into India. 

Low-cost airlines, claims SIA, have not hit its fortunes. Said Mr Ong: "We encourage competition because we think it is healthy, but they have not affected our business". Singapore Airlines is also hopeful of operating the superjumbo Airbus A380 aircraft by the end of next year. Singapore Airlines will probably be the first to fly the A380. 



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