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Chennai International Airport is located in Tirusulam and is the main gateway for the city of Chennai and one of the busiest airports in India. Hosting domestic, regional and international passenger and cargo services for over 25 airlines, Chennai Airport is also a hub for airlines including Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Paramount Airways.
Location of Chennai Airport, India
Ground Handlers servicing Chennai Airport
758 total articles
31 total articles
This is the third in a four-part series of extracts from the full 200+ page India Aviation Outlook Report for 2013/14. The first extract looked at the changing dynamics of the airline sector on domestic and international routes, while the second examined the policy vacuum that persists in India and the impact this has on the viability and development of the sector.
This third part addresses key issues in airport and airspace infrastructure, in particular the AAI's challenges in offering management contracts for two of India's major airports and the prospects for regional hub operations - or not.
The next and final extract will consider this year’s outlook for traffic, capacity, yields and airline profitability.
With both Mumbai and Chennai airports releasing tenders in Aug-2012 for duty free and retail concessions at their new terminals, the Indian travel retail scene is set for yet another boost, following on from the impact of the opening of Delhi which has raced ahead to become the largest duty free market in the country.
Although non-aeronautical revenue at major Indian airports is growing and considerable progress in this arena has been made in recent years, it still lags in the global context. The global duty free market was around USD23 billion in 2010, while duty free sales in India amounted to only around USD215 million in FY2011 (with growth of around 25-30% forecast for FY2012), which is less than 1% of the total revenue, while Indian airports handle around 3% of global airport passenger traffic. Compare this to Dubai, which reported sales of USD1.46 billion from duty free in 2011. All Chinese airports registered combined revenue of USD1.9 billion.
Hardest hit from the European economic situation, aside from the carriers that have collapsed, are far away from continental Europe in the Indian Ocean, which contains the self-proclaimed Vanilla Islands grouping of countries: La Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles. These nations' carriers are largely dependent on European leisure traffic, which has evaporated in the dual threat of weakening economies and high fuel prices that provide no stimulation to whatever demand is left.
The starkness of the situation has been demonstrated most recently by Air Austral, which over the northern winter will reduce its long-haul network to a single destination and will postpone – or possibly cancel – its order for two Airbus A380s, following it being unable to pay for a new Boeing 777 awaiting delivery. Air Austral is also looking to partner with Air Mauritius to maintain a connection to Australia, a further sign that the situation in Europe is forcing the Vanilla Island carriers to make medium/long-term strategy changes that will finally strengthen them. Etihad Airways earlier this year acquired a stake in Air Seychelles and is now lending management oversight to the Seychelles flag carrier while the region's other carriers have conducted overdue network reviews.
Kenya Airways plans to launch its first services to North America, South America and Australia by 2017, making it one of the few carriers to serve every inhabited continent. While these three continents will give Africa's currently fifth-largest airline by seats a global presence, its future is pegged on Asia, with the carrier over the next 10 years planning to launch seven new routes into China, six in the Indian Subcontinent and three across North and Southeast Asia as well as having a growing presence in Europe and the Middle East. It is poised to become Africa's largest carrier.
Growth will be fuelled by Africa's status as a burgeoning market, as well as reliance on partners: Kenya Airways will open routes to SkyTeam member hubs in Xiamen (Xiamen Airlines), Hanoi (Vietnam Airlines), Seoul (Korean Air), Moscow (Aeroflot) and Prague (Czech Airlines). The intercontinental focus follows Kenya's strong emphasis on regional Africa, with the carrier aiming to serve every African nation by the end of 2013.
Jet Airways-Jetstar interline positions carriers for growth in India, Southeast Asia and Australasia
A new interline agreement between India's Jet Airways and low-cost carrier Jetstar is a significant development for the two carriers and their respective markets. Jet Airways on a single ticket will be able to sell across Jetstar's network from Singapore, which predominantly includes points in Southeast and East Asia (where Jet Airways' network is thin) as well as Australia and New Zealand, where traffic flows to India may shift in the short/medium-term as Air India looks to commence direct flights and Virgin Australia works with new alliance partner Singapore Airlines.
The agreement further evolves Jetstar's hybrid model as Jet Airways passengers, like those of select oneworld carriers, will receive checked luggage and, on long-haul flights, meals and comfort kits on Jetstar flights as part of their ticket whereas other passengers have to pay separately. While this adds complexity and some are sceptical of LCCs moving away from a stripped-down model, blurring the lines and adding complexity is rational when yields and network enhancements outweigh the additional cost.
Kingfisher Airlines will become part of oneworld from 10-Feb-2012, becoming the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to join any of the global airline alliances. Air India’s application to become a member of the Star Alliance was rejected at the end of Jul-2011 while Jet Airways is yet to announce its alliance plans but is said to be in discussions with both Star Alliance and SkyTeam (SkyTeam is reportedly in discussions with a number of Indian airlines, including LCCs). Kingfisher Airlines will also be the first of three airlines to join oneworld in 2012, in its largest membership expansion drive for five years, with airberlin set to follow shortly after Kingfisher and Malaysia Airlines joining later in the year.
Joining oneworld will give Kingfisher Airlines, currently facing considering financial pressures, global visibility, brand awareness and scope to improve revenue. According to reports in The Business Standard, Kingfisher is expecting at least a 5% increase in revenue through codeshare agreements with partner airlines. There will also be cost savings through common use of inventories and joint purchases. oneworld’s continued confidence in the struggling carrier is also a positive boost for the carrier, which has significantly reduced capacity and is currently seeking INR6.7 billion (USD127 million) in short-term working loans.
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