Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) reportedly announced plans to convert Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport into India’s main hub for international air services, when the upcoming Terminal 3 is opened (Business Standard, 03-Feb-2010). The move reportedly includes Air India serving Delhi as a main hub for international services. The carrier currently focuses domestic operations at Delhi Airport and international operations at Mumbai Airport. MoCA also reportedly plans to establish Delhi as a Southeast Asian hub for services onto Europe. A meeting regarding these proposals with international and domestic carriers is reportedly scheduled in Mar-2010. Delhi Airport will have capacity to handle 60 million passengers p/a from Jul-2010, while Mumbai Airport’s current capacity is 25 million passengers p/a. The Indian Government is being called upon to offer more bilateral air services agreements with other nations to make the proposal more viable.
Delhi Airport to become India's new international hub
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Air India launched services to Melbourne and Sydney in 2013 but the Australia-India market is still dominated by Southeast Asian flag carriers. Singapore Airlines has been able to maintain a leading 41% share of the market. Malaysia Airlines also still carries more Australia-India passengers than Air India.
Attracting more nonstop flights from Air India, or the possible launch of nonstop flights to India by Australian carriers, will not be easy despite growing demand. Southeast Asia’s network airlines have a competitive advantage as they serve several gateways in both Australia and India. Southeast Asia’s growing medium/long haul LCCs have also started to compete in the Australia-India market and are well positioned to take a large share of the anticipated growth.