Huge spike in intl flights from KIA as winter nears

Huge spike in intl flights from KIA as winter nears

Indicating a massive spike in the demand for international flights from the Kempegowda International Airport, the airport's winter schedule is expected to be packed this year. Several global airlines are either upgrading their aircraft to the city, increasing the frequency or adding more seats.

Airport sources say the lure of cheaper fares, attractive offers from exotic tourist destinations abroad and a big growth in business class travellers are driving this upsurge in demand. The winter schedule is expected to commence on the last Sunday of October.

Among the biggies, Air France is set for an upgrade of its KIA-bound Airbus 330 to Boeing 772 and Boeing 777, while Emirates has proposed to introduce thrice a week flights to Dubai operating a Boeing 777L aircraft, according to the sources.

On October 27, Ethiopian airlines will for the first time link Bengaluru to an African city, Addis Ababa. The airline will operate four direct flights in a week — on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday — using a Boeing 738.

Dutch carrier KLM is also set to enter the sector with Bengaluru-Amsterdam flights, starting October 31. The flights will operate from KIA on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The airline had informed that the aircraft will be the Boeing 787-9 (Dreamliner) with a seating of 294.

While Saudia Airlines will upgrade its aircraft to KIA from an Airbus A330 regional to Boeing 777-300ER, Ethihad has proposed to regularise a Boeing 787 on the Bengaluru route. The winter schedule will also see British Airways operate another Boeing 787.

Once the winter schedule ends, the growth in international airlines is likely to remain strong. Lufthansa has already announced that it will operate Munich to Bengaluru flights five times a week, on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Operated by a new A350-900, the flights will commence on March 31, 2020.