Tata's JV partner Singapore Airlines keen to expand network in India

(Photo courtesy: Twitter/@BoeingAirplanes)
Singapore Airlines wants to expand its network in India to tap growth in international passenger traffic.

Singapore Airlines along with its group airlines - Silk Air, Scoot and Tigerair- operate 175 flights each week to 15 cities in the country. On a standalone basis, the carrier accounts for around 2.7 per cent of India's overseas traffic and is a dominant player in India-South East Asia and India-Australia markets.

"We would like to add more destinations," said David Lim, the airline's general manager for India on Friday. Lim did not share further details. Aviation consultants say the airline had been evaluating opening new routes from Singapore to Pune, Chandigarh and other cities.

Capacity expansion will also require a revision in India-Singapore air service agreements. Air services between two countries are negotiated by governments that control frequencies and the number of destinations.

"Singapore Airlines continually looks for opportunities to enhance travel experience of our Indian patrons," said Lim, while announcing the launch of operations of the Airbus A350 aircraft to Mumbai. The aircraft has 253 seats in a three-class configuration and will help the airline in better yields and fuel savings.

Lim refused to comment on airline's interest in Air India privatisation. " We can not comment on speculation," he said. The airline is being considered as a possible suitor after their joint venture partner Tata group expressed interest in acquiring the debt-laden national carrier.

Singapore Airlines and the Tata group launched Vistara in 2015 and the airline is preparing for an international foray. " We are pleased with our partnership with the Tatas and Vistara is performing really well," he added.

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