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Death of low cost carriers

hi praja folks,

Been reading a lot of posts on what is good and what is not good about BIAL. also been hearing about flights going/coming near empty into Bangalore. SAD!!

Five years back a middle class man called Capt. Gopinath had a dream, to facilitate the middle class of India to travel by air atleast once a year.He started AIR DECCAN based in Bangalore to propel his dream and did almost achieve this.

Today, LCC's are dying. Reason - Prohibitive operating costs and mounting losses.

Bangalore, in the last five years witnessed an unpredented and a gallopping air passenger growth of 35% every year.

But, now the mounting operating cost, fuel costs, reduced passengers to short haul destinations are forcing airlines to think about cancelling some short haul flights out of Bangalore. after shifting to BIAL.

The operating cost to the airlines are definitely more than what it used to be at HAL airport. The ATR's used to be parked in Bays that were power-in power-out at HAL, but compulsarily made to park in Power in Push out bays at BIAL, adding to their cost.

Aerobridge usage was not charged at HAL, but they have to shell out Rs 10,000/- at BIAL. There are many bays at HAL where even a B737 or a A320 can taxi out without pushback.

The time taken from touchdown to the parking bays and bay to the departure were minimal at HAL, at BIAL more taxiing time, means more fuel consumed on ground.

For flight going out/in to BIAL to destinations like coimbatore, cochin, trivandrum, madurai, trichi, calicut and Mangalore, the distance has increased by 40nm, that is 10 to 12 minutes of extra flying time, again more fuel consumption, when compared to HAL.

Restrictions and more distance to run because of the airspace division between three airports.

the following add to the woes of the airlines:

1)Increased operating costs from BIAL.

2)Increased cost for personnel travelling to/from BIAL, more time taken and more fuel consumed.

3)very high rentals inside BIAL for the airlines office and other airside facilities. which were very low at HAL.

4)decrease in passengers, due to the increased distance from the eastern and southern parts of Bangalore.

5)Increase in ATF prices, leading to increase in Air fares, which further puts off a potential air traveller.

6)User development fees, which will be in force in one month at BIAL.,

All the above factors have affected the airlines as well as the passenger.

The Low cost airlines used to survive on high volume and low fares, but that is not the case now, higher operating cost and increased fares are forcing these airlines to cancel flights to some sectors. One example spicejet, have already cancelled their bangalore-Cochin flight.

What started as a dream run for Indian aviation will end shortly. Airlines are not taking delivery of new aircraft.

Who is that ordinarily dressed person, not smelling of the costly foreign body sprays/scents, carrying an ordinary baggage, without the flashy mobile phones etc., doing in an aircraft sitting alonside the rich and the elite, who only used to travel by air earlier????

Throw him out of the aircraft, back to the trains and buses, which are meant for him!!! He has no business whatsover to be inside an aircraft.

The Common man of R.K.Lakshman, depicted on Air Deccan aircraft is, now gone and replaced by the rich and elite brands.

The dream of Capt.Gopinath and the common man he used to associate with is shattered!!!!

Surprising, that the airlines have remained silent on th above issues and have not pressed the government to operate from HAL airport !!!!!

If they start operations of short haul back at HAL I am sure all the passengers will return to them. It is now upto the airlines in the interest of the erstwhile passengers and in their own interest to press the government to reopen HAL for short haul flights.

If not, they are gone forever.

This is an advance requiem to the airlines that are likely to shut down in the near future.

And congratulations to some airlines for having thrown out the common man from the aircraft.

The dream run of Bangalore air traffic growth, fuelled by low operating costs and accessibilty to HAL Airport will shortly end!!!!

Bye Bye common man have a nice overnight trip to your home.

And lastly Devesh where is your crusade along with Kiran gone?? All have forgotten HAL airport??? I dont see any posts regarding reopening HAL for commercial operations!!!!


idontspam's picture

Put a stop to reviving HAL

Let us not waste precious bandwidth trying to revive HAL. Let me be gentle here... it is not an airport fit for use by 'people'. I would suggest mounting pressure on BIAL to clean up their act instead and focus our efforts in letting them know they cant get away swindling people.
idontspam's picture

What could work though is...

If HAL airport including the runway was completely demolished and redesigned for optimal usage of space with rapid exits, multilevel terminals and multilevel parking lots which dont share space with garbage bins and toilets. Then we can look at opening it up again. What better time to do this than now when the airport is not operational. They can even acquire and demolish some houses abutting the airport and clean up the place. We should definitely not turn it into a mall because the malls parking would stink of urine and be sunk in knee deep food refuse.

In 9 years we should be ready with 3 runways 2 in BIAL and 1 in HAL. Dont worry despite slowdowns human race will find ways to fly. It is irrreversible.

s_yajaman's picture

One more body blow today - death of LCCs

Most airlines have hiked their fares today.  This will definitely impact air travel.  I personally think the heady days of 25% growth are over - for good.  I would be surprised if airlines grew at 10% hereon on an average.  BTW 10-12% profitable topline growth is good.  It allows airlines to add capacity, maintain their aircraft better, etc etc.

Cost structures for most airlines (globally) are horrible.  You cannot lose money forever just to fill planes.  route rationalization will happen.  Consolidation will happen  competition will come down and airfares will go up.

This is a great opportunity for IR to get in a couple more superfast trains to Madras from Bangalore.  A 16 coach train can carry about 1000 people - as many as 7 flights. Why not?





Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

narayan82's picture

IR - time to step in

Srivatsa I do not know why people do not want to consider the train actively. It is easier to get on to, easier to travel in and Greener.

And meanwhile IR can really do some pretty amazing Business models here. They need a 16 bogie train as you said and they have to do just do up the interiors to make it look like a Plane with big windows! Or rather like the Virgin Voyagers/Pendalinos. (see below)


Also any one station (Say Cantonment)can be spruced up to give a modern swanky feel. I think the IR crew are sitting on huge potential and refusing to change/allow private participation.

What if we introduced a scheme where IR runs the train but outsources a few bogies. So for Example Indigo (Namesake only) runs 3 bogies from BLR > CHENNAI., on every train. They can have thier own booking facility, on board services and other options like home pick up etc etc.

A bit of competition here between private players can really step up service. Say, Kingfisher started a railway service - they could offer the same service for shorter destinations.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
s_yajaman's picture

IR - agree with you Narayan


Even I don't know why railways is considered infra-dig.  When I went to Japan I took the Shinkansen. It was a 16 coach train with a capacity of 1600.  Covered the 250 km from Kobe to Hiroshima in 1 hr 14 mins.  Why would anyone take planes? 

Even if we can't match that (investments are too heavy and JR runs a perpetual loss), we can have a train that covers Bangalore-Madras in 4 hrs.  It would still compete with a flight in total time and would be cheaper. 

IR needs a shake up.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

In 2 hours

On the SBC-MAS route I think most casual travellers have already switched to trains. If we can make the 340Kms by train in 2 hours like in Japan then we can be assured even business travellers will switch. 
bangalore-guy's picture

airtel rajdhani express.

Have you heard of that ?

Recently while dropping relatives at the railway station I saw this Airtel Rajdhani Express from Bangalore to Hazrat Nizamuddin.

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