The competition is heating up on the Dubai-Kochi and Sharjah-Mumbai sector.
IndiGo, a low-cost carrier, is set to commence daily non-stop flights to Dubai from Kochi and Chennai, with introductory return fares being below Dh800, while Jet Airways, a full-fledged airline, will launch direct flights to Sharjah from Mumbai.
IndiGo will commence daily flights on the route from August 25 while the introductory return fare will be Rs11,200 (Dh746), president Aditya Ghosh was quoted as saying in Indian media.
'Emirates24|7' had reported earlier that return fares between Dubai and Kochi route had peaked to Dh3000 during the festive season (Eid and Onam).
The low-cost carrier’s announcement is likely to benefit Gulf residents. But Keralites hoping to celebrate Onam back home may not benefit since Ghosh has confirmed that there are no tickets available during the festive season.
'The Hindu' newspaper quoted Ghosh as saying: “Kochi holds a lot of promise for us and indeed is a key market. Expanding operations in Kochi is in line with our growth strategy outlined for South India.”
IndiGo has recently launched its second daily and direct flight between Dubai and Delhi and between Delhi and Bangkok. Hyderabad also been connected with Dubai.
The new services will consolidate IndiGo’s position as the fastest growing airline in India, with 58 brand new Airbus A320s - 6E operates 361 daily flights, connecting 32 destinations.
Jet’s new service begins October.
Meanwhile, Jet Airways said it would launch a new Mumbai-Sharjah service, effective October 18. The airline’s new, daily return service from Mumbai to Sharjah will be the sixth daily service between Mumbai and the UAE, in addition to the existing four daily services to Dubai and one daily service to Abu Dhabi.
Sudheer Raghavan, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways, said: “In keeping with the growing demand from our guests for seamless connections between the Gulf and India, as well as onwards via our international hub in Mumbai, Jet Airways has enhance its services on the India-Gulf sector in the winter schedule.”