Indian Government reportedly plans to extend the deadline for Indian carriers to phase out foreign pilots (Economic Times, 22-Nov-2010). The Government previously extended the deadline from Jun-2010 to Jul-2011, subject to validation of their foreign license by DGCA. There are currently over 600 expat pilots, who are employed by five major Indian scheduled operators — Air India, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, IndiGo and SpiceJet. The DGCA programme to phase out foreign pilots had resulted in their numbers reducing from 944 in 2008 to 686 in 2009 to 600 in 2010.
Indian Government to extend the deadline for carriers to phase out foreign pilots
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India’s aviation market surges 20% on economic growth and low fuel prices
Indian aviation is, after many years of promise, seemingly starting to deliver on its potential. It is currently the fastest-growing major aviation market in the world. With strong GDP growth of around 7.5% India is surging ahead of China in the economic growth stakes.
Meanwhile, the decline in oil prices has supported lower fares, driving year-on-year domestic traffic growth in excess of 20%. Its airlines are even starting to make money.
LCC, IndiGo, established less than a decade ago, has become the dominant player in the domestic industry. At the end of the Indian financial year, on 31-Mar-2016, IndiGo was the largest airline in the domestic market with a passenger share of 38.4%, followed by Jet Airways at 20.2%. LCCs accounted for 61.7% of domestic traffic.
Amadeus and Navitaire: a dual brand strategy allowing greater airline hybridisation
As airlines have embraced dual brand strategies to reach full service and low cost growth aviation IT has responded, as seen with Amadeus' acquisition of Navitaire, which mostly but not exclusively powered the passenger service systems (PSS) of LCCs. In the first six months since the deal closed Navitaire has added 230m passengers boarded, to Amadeus Altea's 393m. Navitaire passengers account for 37% of Amadeus' total.
Having significantly grown its market share, and with past LCC product forays not having worked out, Amadeus receives a new business stream. Some Navitaire customers (Ryanair, AirAsia, IndiGo) are larger than Altea customers and have high growth ahead of them. A second benefit is the Navitaire acquisition supporting Altea customers. By owning both products Amadeus can improve connectivity between Altea and Navitaire airlines. Most of Altea's large customers – Lufthansa, IAG, AF-KLM, Qantas and JAL – have an LCC operating Navitaire software. Of Navitaire's passengers – 35% are on airlines that are LCC units of full service airlines. Other airlines may be holding out on pursuing partnerships and connectivity until there is a cheaper, simpler and streamlined way.
It may seem that the Amadeus-Navitaire marriage is about full service and low cost segments, but its greatest strength is the role it will have in the hybrid segment. Hybridity is growing, and Amadeus-Navitaire could galvanise further expansion.