BA set to serve Kerala (India) ?Back to Forum
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at 14:53 by AMcWhirter.
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Overseas media always gets excited when British Airways is planning a route to their country.
Now it’s the turn of Kochi which is a major port city in Kerala state.
According to Times of India, “sources at Cochin International Airport, said that discussions have been held with BA. If everything goes as planned the service is expected to start in three months.”
“It is learnt that the airline [BA] has assessed the baggage handling and passenger amenities at Kochi.”
Air India currently operates three flights a week Kochi to London LGW.
Otherwise travellers would opt for indirect flights which usually mean via the Gulf.
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Seems a very sensible choice. I guess they have seen good loads at the AI check in zone at LGW for the new AI 787 route there.
I don’t know about any subsidy but India is a good source of sixth-freedom travellers.
The value for BA, assuming this flight would operate into LHR, is the transfer traffic which could be fed across its network (especially North America).
Many years ago, when Lufthansa was operating 747s to DEL and BOM, one of its senior executives gave an interview in India where he maintained that some 80 or 90 per cent of passengers boarding there were bound for destinations beyond Frankfurt.
Alex, I completely agree with you. Huge numbers of pax transit LHR onwards to the US with BA via their flights to and from India.
Alex and AlanOrton1 I would agree with your analysis that a driver for this potential route would be traffic from South West India to fly via London to USA. However the problem with that view is that this flight would it seems be into LGW – which only operates to mainly leisure (and non-hub) markets in USA – Orlando, Tampa and Las Vegas, although there is JFK too.
So based on that I think the main target markets if this route gets announced will be VFR and leisure/premium leisure. The Kerela region looks stunning and BA Holidays must have provided data to BA which might sway it.
I have long thought that a BA or AA route ex-LGW to an AA hub could be worthwhile- for example Chicago or Philadelphia to mainly capture US demand for BAs extensive Gatwick network (although whether the flights can be timed to connect is doubtful).
Oh and Alex – LH still does operate 747s into India – using both 747-8 and 744.
Separately, and maybe better for my BA routes thread, I wonder if BA should locate 3-4 788 at LGW for routes where their high-density 722 is too much. These would open a new world of potential routes.
Looking again at the post by Alex and the Times of India link it does not actually stipulate it would be into LGW, so perhaps my error, and Alex and Alan you may be correct.
And as the source newspaper article said – labour for the UK. Seems a route worth trying out for a number of reasons especially from LHR rather than my assumption LGW.
We shall see!
Yes Alex – as sparkyflier pointed out, LH operates 747s to DEL and BLR, and an A340 to Mumbai.
I’d posted a long response yday but when editing it, looks it must’ve deleted it by accident:
Living in the USA. several of my fellow Indian friends are from kerala – Malayalis or mallus, for short – as they call themselves.
Several of them are in IT centric cities in the USA well served by the MEB3 or saudia. They all mostly fly via dubai as between flydubai and EK, 5 cities in the state of Kerala have non stop connections from dubai. (I don’t think any other state in india has that many cities non stop intl conns). Plus Kerala is the largest Indian immigrant group in the Middle East so several of the USA (and perhaps Uk based) malayalis prefer to fly via dubai as they get to stopover for a few days to visit their middle eastern family before proceeding to Kerala.
Kerala doesn’t have too many industries so the crowd is usually VFR – hence dense aircraft configurations.
If this rumour is indeed true, then BA had better pick LHR for the huge transit crowd. I honestly don’t know what the yields will be. And I stil feel Ba would do better instead by increasing freq on HYD or BLR. Those have more a mix of VFR and biz crowd = potentially more revenue,
Makes sense, my unscientific analysis certainly noticed Indian tourists in large numbers in Jordan/Egypt/Bangkok recently all places I hadn’t necessarily expected them to be the predominant group. It all points to the fact that India has well and truly emerged, population demographics also massively favour India versus say China, India has a younger population, and one that is still growing quickly, the Indian diaspora, whether in the UK/US/Canada or elsewhere are massively successful. India also lacks a really competitive home based airline that has the quality and scale (I know Vistara are good, but they are too small) and soon to be Air India who are appalling. Russia airspace bans likely continue to divert would be North Asia capacity into India.
f this rumour is indeed true, then BA had better pick LHR for the huge transit crowd. I honestly don’t know what the yields will be.
Yes. It would have to be Heathrow.
I believe only moved those route from LHR to LGW because it didn’t have sufficient slots at LHR to accommodate extra flights.
But BA has many, many slots so can always cancel routes etc to find a slot for a new route.
There is certainly a huge amount of Indian nationals taking flights between India and North America via LHR and vice versa.
The other evening I was viewing an old episode of that TV series Heathrow Airport on YouTube.
It involved an inbound AC flight from YYZ connecting to an AI service to either BOM or DEL (cannot now remember which one).
That AC flight was running late. Not only was there a terminal change (with less time than the MCT allowed) but there were literally several dozen transfer paseengers with many needing wheelchairs. (There were no fewer than 30 arriving pax needing wheelchairs although some would be UK arrivals)
The passenger transfers were made successfully (at least two special buses took the passengers across the apron) but the programme failed to mention whether or not all the checked luggage also made the transfer. To be fair to BBC its team wouldn’t know anyway … it was all a rush.