Hyderabad: Why Hyderabad down south is upbeat over the acquisition of Air India by Tata Sons is a doubt many would have.
The answer lies in Hyderabad’s surge across multiple sectors in the last few years, with the State capital positioning itself as a global city and attracting almost every IT major from across the world to set up shop here. And for the same reason, the city is looking to improve its international connectivity, which is why officials at the Hyderabad International Airport, one of the fastest growing airports in the country, are hoping that the Tata Sons acquisition of Air India will help the city.
With Air India already possessing prime slots at most international airports, the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), which manages the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, feels that Air India could bring in the most anticipated long-haul connectivity to Hyderabad.
The advantages of the RGIA, which they feel can help, include a two-hour flying time connectivity to all key Indian cities and a four-hour flying time connectivity to South Asia, Southeast and Middle East regions, along with the fact that RGIA already has 65 domestic destinations in its network and handles more transfer traffic than any airport in central and south India.
Air India had recently launched two new non-stop international flights from Hyderabad, first to Chicago in the United States and then to Heathrow in London.
Even then, Hyderabad-USA-Hyderabad still remains the largest underserved passenger origin and destination market with 7,41,000 annual passengers, ie., over 1,000 passengers per day each way.
“A significant opportunity from Hyderabad catchment exists for an additional 2,18,000 passengers to the US, ie, around 300 passengers per day each way. With US being one of the hottest destinations, a daily potential of 1,300 passenger per day each way to the US from Hyderabad is foreseen in the coming years,” they said.
Another factor was the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh regional diaspora being one of the fastest growing communities in the US. Every fourth student going abroad for studies from India is from Telangana or AP, they said.
The Europe-Hyderabad-Europe sector had approximately 3,96,000 passengers, about 550 passengers per day each way.
“Hyderabad is the largest unserved source market to Europe, which is a preferred leisure destination for travelers from the Telugu States,” a GHIAL official said.
Hyderabad was also looking for non-stop flights to Dhaka; Kathmandu; Nairobi; Bali; Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam; Phuket, Thailand; Istanbul; Guangzhou, Chengdu in China and also destinations like Tashkent and Almaty.
“We believe the acquisition of Air India is advantageous for Hyderabad as it paves way for a better future in the aviation sector. It will collectively speed up passenger traffic and boost profitability of both the entities in India,” GHIAL officials said.
RGIA has already embarked on a major expansion to cater to the rising demand in passenger traffic and to augment passenger handling capacity.
Why Hyderabad is hopeful about Tata’s Air India
• Hyd-US is an underserved passenger origin/destination market
• Hyderabad is also largest unserved source market to Europe
• Europe is preferred leisure destination from Telugu States
• Hyderabad needs non-stop flights to Dhaka, Phuket, Istanbul etc.
• RGIA is already connected to 65 domestic destinations
• Transfer traffic potential is huge from Hyderabad