With over 32 non-stop routes between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE), Air India’s low-cost subsidiary, Air India Express leads this market in terms of number of routes and frequencies.
Air India Express at present is operating approximately 190x weekly services to 5 cities across UAE, primarily to Dubai, Sharjah & Abu Dhabi from multiple cities across India, while also 2x weekly services each to Ras Al Khaimah and Al Ain from Kozhikode.
On further analysis of the airline’s UAE network, it can be observed that, Air India Express enjoys full-monopoly on about 17 of it’s 32 routes or over 39% of its total weekly services.
These figures are interesting as, for comparison, India’s largest carrier, #IndiGo, operating about 167x weekly services to UAE on 21 non-stop routes, enjoys full-monopoly on only 3 routes or about 12.5% of its total weekly services.
The most notable difference between Air India Express’s and IndiGo’s UAE network is that, while the former has expanded its UAE network from multiple Tier-2 cities across India, the latter has strengthened its network from major cities across India, leading in tourism, business, and trade.
Air India Express in the past years has always focused upon strengthening its presence in markets across South-India, and has developed an extensive international network from the cities of Mangalore, Kannur, Kozhikode, Cochin, Trivandrum, and Tiruchirappalli.
The airline operates approximately 129x weekly or about 68% of its total weekly services to UAE from the above 6 cities.
To further strengthen its UAE network and gain more market share, the airline needs to focus on strengthening its network in North India. At present, the airline operates 35x weekly services from the cities of Amritsar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, and Varanasi in North India, to Dubai & Sharjah.
Developing Amritsar As A Strategic Base
During the recent years, Amritsar has emerged as a strategic point for the Air India Express in this region, with the airline operating 12x weekly services to both Dubai & Sharjah. From all the other 5 cities, the Air India Express operates a single route.
As Air India Express merges with AirAsia India and prepares to induct new aircraft in the upcoming months, the airline could look at developing Amritsar as a strategic base for services to UAE as well as other Middle Eastern markets including, Qatar, Kuwait & Muscat.
The strategical location of Amritsar in Northern India could also enable airline to develop a limited hub & spoke model like network, especially with cities including Srinagar, etc.
In the short term, the airline may look at increasing the frequency of Amritsar-Sharjah to daily from present 5x weekly, while also introduction of non-stop services to Abu Dhabi, to benefit from the huge unserved demand.
Note: The Above Data May Contain Inaccuracies