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Many US and Europe-based passengers bound for the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and southern Africa choose Middle Eastern carriers like Emirates, Etihad, Turkish and Qatar due to the convenient position of those airlines’ hubs, the great reputations all of them have with respect to service and amenities and often price. The announcement and implementation of the electronics ban, however, seems to have disrupted the market somewhat.
Air India has reported that it’s benefitted greatly from the ban and says that it’s seen bookings increase dramatically since the policy was implemented. The airline claims that bookings have doubled in the two weeks or so since the affected airlines have had to comply with the ban. It also claims that it’s been able to command a higher price for the tickets it sells. Presumably, business travelers who don’t need internet access (Air India’s long-haul fleet isn’t equipped with Wi-Fi) flying between Europe/the US and India have decided that the time spent working during the long-haul flights to India and beyond is more valuable than the (often) cheaper flights and superior products the Middle Eastern airlines offer.
If the electronics ban remains in place longer-term, it’s entirely possible that Air India could see even more demand for its flights, and would certainly bolster its case for a North American expansion, which it’s hinted that it wants to pursue. The airline has indicated that it’s going to lease seven Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to potentially add flights to destinations such as Dallas (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Toronto (YYZ) and Vancouver (YVR).
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
H/T: One Mile At a Time
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