Naresh Goyal-owned Jet Airways will lead Indian airline companies in long-haul international expansion this year, aviation consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has said in its India International Outlook report for 2012-13.
With Kingfisher Airlines’ international operations suspended and Air India’s (AI) long-haul services likely to be subject to ongoing industrial action, Jet is expected to seize the opportunity and aggressively expand international operations, CAPA said.
Jet Airways, India’s largest domestic carrier by passengers carried, could become a member of the Star Alliance, making it the first Indian carrier to join a global alliance. “Its plans to service Frankfurt and Munich are linked to this strategic development. SkyTeam is understood to have shown some interest in IndiGo,” the report said.
The CAPA report projected international passenger traffic to grow by 8-10% to reach 44 million. The year could also see the Airbus A380, the largest commercial airplane, make its debut in India.
“The current crisis in Indian aviation could create an environment in which previously difficult decisions could move ahead. If foreign airline investment of up to 49% was permitted and bilaterals increased, Gulf carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways could establish a critical advantage in the Indian market, creating a quasi-domestic market to feed their hubs,” the report said.