Thursday, 26 October 2017

UDAN a good job, Mr Modi

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Why would one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines buy a ten-seat propeller plane, when most of its customers fly on 200-seat jets? Switching to smaller, less efficient aircraft defies commercial logic. But it is an appealing thought for those living in isolated communities far from big airports. That is what India’s new regional connectivity scheme, Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) or “let the common man fly”, promises to offer. It uses subsidies to improve the commercial viability of seldom-used routes. It also caps half of the fares on such routes at 2,500 rupees ($38) per hour of travel. If properly implemented and funded, the scheme could become a powerful tool for spreading India’s economic wealth more evenly...

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Wizz Air UK: A case study in Brexit scaremongering

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Wizz Air, the central and eastern European low-cost carrier, has unveiled plans for a dedicated UK subsidiary to grow its British operations after Brexit – despite being depicted by many as an early casualty of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

The move is designed to help Wizz Air expand its presence at London Luton Airport regardless of any headwinds caused by the UK’s withdrawal from European aviation treaties. The airline currently uses its Hungarian operating license to base planes in foreign cities like London, exploiting liberal cross-border rules within the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA). Unless Brussels agrees otherwise, Britain’s access to the ECAA will automatically expire in 2019...