Business | Aviation

Emirates flies more Indian passengers than Air India

UAE airline flies 185 flights a week to India via 10 gateways

  • By Shweta Jain, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 18:04 April 9, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • An Emirates airlines Airbus A 380, the world's largest passenger jet, stands at terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 15, 2010.

Dubai: In what could be an alarming development for Indian carriers, Dubai-based Emirates in 2011-12 flew more international passengers in and out of India than the Indian national carrier, Air India, as per the recently released official data.

The statistics reportedly reveal that Emirates garnered 13.04 per cent share of the total Indian market in 2011-12, having flown 4.532 million passengers in and out of the country while Air India and subsidiary Air India Express put together carried 4.138 million passengers in the period, managing just 11.91 per cent share of the market.

Emirates, the world’s largest airline by international passengers flown, currently flies 185 flights a week to India via 10 gateways. And West Asia and Indian Ocean region, of which India constitutes the largest contributor, accounted for Dh7,083 million in revenue for Emirates in the financial year 2011-2012, representing an 11.5 per cent share for the region within Emirates, an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News in an emailed statement.

The carrier said last year it has contributed $596 million to the Indian economy.

Commenting on why Indian carriers are lagging behind, India-based aviation analyst, Amber Dubey, Partner and Head-Aviation at global consultancy KPMG, told Gulf News: “Air India had an unwritten ‘right of first refusal’ on global routes which they could not utilise fully due to their own challenges. Young carriers like Indigo and Spicejet have a fleet that does not allow them to access long haul routes. All these factors have contributed to the low share of Indian carriers in India’s global traffic.”

“We expect the share of Indian carriers to increase to 30 per cent in two years’ time. If we can get our hub strategy right, it may even cross the 50 per cent mark by 2020,” he added.

The other two Gulf carriers — Qatar Airways and Air Arabia — meanwhile, grabbed market shares of 4.41 per cent and 4.31 per cent respectively in the period, according to the data reported.

In India, however, Jet Airways had 15.7 per cent market share, followed by Kingfisher Airlines [which was in operations then] with 3.24 per cent share, IndiGo 1.19 per cent, SpiceJet 0.86 per cent and JetLite 0.31 per cent.

“This outcome was inevitable. It is all you would expect from a regulatory regime that denied Indian airlines access to capital, markets and expertise for as long as it did. The more important question is what is India going to do about it? To be competitive, it needs to stop hiding behind protectionism and trade barriers and step out into the light,” said analyst Andrew Charlton of Aviation Advocacy.

Comments (29)

  1. Added 17:37 April 10, 2013

    Really, Emirates is the best airline ever!!

    chikmaglur khader hameed, abu dhabi, India

  2. Added 17:20 April 10, 2013

    If emirates can offer more competitive rates like Air India Express or Jet Airways, there will be more passengers to India. But in peak season, Emirates also increases the price. Now, Air India Express Service is far better than before. I traveled 4 times in last 6 months to Kerala and I felt the difference. So the selection of Airline will be based on the cost of the ticket for me.

    Nandhan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 16:52 April 10, 2013

    I prefer Emirates, because their attitude towards the customer is great. We are paying hard earned money to Air India and we are getting rough attitude in return. So Air India is my least preferred airline. Regarding timings also, Emirates is the best.

    John, DXB, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 15:41 April 10, 2013

    India should also make Emirates its National Airline.

    Anonymous, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 14:42 April 10, 2013

    emirates is the best for fly

    joy paul, kolkata, India

  6. Added 13:35 April 10, 2013

    For India and Indians it's a big shame

    ramesh, chennai, India

  7. Added 13:23 April 10, 2013

    Yes, the flight and service of Emirates Airlines is of high class. Unfortunately, my home town Mangalore not connected with Emirates Flights. Hope soon the service will be provided.

    soorya s bhat, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:07 April 10, 2013

    only emirates.

    subin, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 12:35 April 10, 2013

    Indian Airlines have to wait another 25 years to challenge Emirates because there are many facts main thing is the behaviour of the crew how they treat us compare to Emirates and other International airlines. Do not understand almost all the airlines are in profit exept Air India, being an indian we dont like Air India because Air line is not providing best service to us they use older flights in this region compare to europe. and most of the time engine trouble and many issues so our life is precious even if it is costly.

    Abufadi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 12:08 April 10, 2013

    Emirates!!!! I have been flying Emirates since I have been staying in Dubai. Always on time or I should be always before time. Good service. Very rarely i have had problems except for the gate running trouble I face every year while travelling especially to Thiruvanthanapuram. Rest I have a 10 thumbs up out of 10

    Vinita, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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