Foreign airlines to take AI on board for expanding in Indian market

  • Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2015 23:47 IST

At least 14 foreign airlines are in advanced talks with national carrier Air India (AI) for stitching code-share agreements that would help them grab a pie of the lucrative Indian aviation market.

Negotiations with two others — TAP Portugal and LOT Polish — was complete and code-shares could be signed anytime soon, sources said.

Code-share is a ticket-selling agreement between two airlines, whereby one carrier can market and sell the flights of another airline, and provide seamless travel to multiple destinations where it doesn’t fly.

Gulf carriers have managed to corner the biggest pie of the Indian international market and around 40% of all global traffic from the country is West Asia bound.

AI is in advanced talks for a code-share with 10 Star Alliance member airlines including Air China, Air New Zealand, Shenzhen Airlines, United Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Eva Air, Avianca, Thai Airways, Copa and Aegean Airlines.

VietJet, S7 Airlines, Air Austral and Flybe are the non-Star Alliance members that AI is in talks for a code-share.

One of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, India will overtake the UK to become the third largest by 2031, according to a 20-year passenger growth forecast by the International Air Transport Association.

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