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Indian carriers offer cheaper tickets to U.S.

By SiliconIndia  |   Wednesday, 26 December 2007, 20:19 Hrs
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New Delhi: Air India (AI) to launch Delhi-New York non-stop flight in February 2008. The tariff will be about $1125 (Rs 45,000) inclusive of tax for economy class. The Jet airways also charge the same amount from Delhi to New York via Brussels. Meanwhile the fares of foreign carriers like British Airways, Lufthansa, Continental and American Airlines is higher by $150 to $400 (Rs 6,000 to Rs 16,000), reported the Times of India.

Kingfisher airlines is also going to join the list of Indian carriers flying to U.S. by next year, foreign airlines will have to fly the extra mile to woo fliers.

"Indian airlines earlier did not have a proper throughput to U.S. earlier. Thanks to its old aircraft, AI wasn’t a reliable service and Jet just flew to London. Now AI is using brand new Boeing 777 on the India-U.S. non-stop sectors and Jet is flying there and has an alliance with American. Post 2009, when Kingfisher would join, Indian carriers will have an advantage," said aviation analyst Kapil Kaul to Times of India.

Earlier except the ageing Maharaja, U.S. bound Indians had to choose a foreign carrier to reach their destination with a stopover in either Europe or Gulf.

"Once merged AI-IA improves operations, it will offer onward connectivity both in U.S. and India. Jet is already doing that with American. Kingfisher will also offer this," said. Kaul

According to analysts, will be for price-sensitive economy class passengers. With visiting relatives and leisure travel to U.S. on the rise, this sector will become more important.

"Although traffic on this sector is growing, foreign carriers will have to fight for passengers with Indian airlines. For economy class passengers, this would mean more attractive fares. For premium business and first class fliers, this will elad to better services," said a travel agent.

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