India - EX-YU flight potential growing


Indian tour operators are seeing increasing potential for the launch of flights between the subcontinent and the former Yugoslavia, amid an increase in local interest for travel to the region. "The Balkan states of Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro constitute another belt that is emerging besides Hungary, Poland and Austria. A lot of Bollywood films have been shot in locations such as Serbia", Romil Pant, the Senior Vice President of Thomas Cook India said. He added, “Certain destinations there are getting very competitive. Serbia is visa free and one can do a five to seven day Serbia trip for under Rs 1 lakh (1.200 euros). These are travellers who have visited Western and Southern Europe and now want to experience the beauty of Eastern European destinations that are rich in culture, architecture and cuisine. With improved air connectivity, this region will see an increase in traffic in the coming years”. A spokeswoman from MakeMyTrip noted, "The Croatian coastline is also catching the imagination of a lot of travellers and we foresee a lot of growth in outbound travel for this region".

India's largest and busiest carrier, IndiGo, has become the first airline to express interest in the region. "We have been involved in fruitful discussions with the Serbian government and the local tourism board through an intermediary concerning potential operations to Serbia. We plan to continue these talks and explore opportunities to serve the market sometime in the future", the company said. IndiGo's parent company, InterGlobe Enterprises, has expressed interest in linking the two countries to cater for Indian tourists visiting the entire region. IndiGo, one of the few Indian carriers with enough cash to aggressively expand, has been mapping out a way to build a long haul, low cost business, taking passengers from places like New Delhi to London, with a stop in Southeastern Europe. "Serbia is aggressively looking at tapping the Indian outbound market. Abolishing visas for Indians travelling to Serbia has proved quite helpful and is becoming a unique selling point for Serbia as a destination. The next few years are very important in terms of marketing and promoting Serbia effectively in India. We are looking to end 2018 with nearly 10.000 Indian arrivals. From India, Serbia is targeting young professionals and backpackers who like to explore countries and are open to new experiences", the Serbian Ambassador to India, Vladimir Marić, said. The two countries recently signed an Open Sky Air Service Agreement, while the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia has announced it will have its own representative in India from 2019.


Other carriers have also taken note of the growing potential between India and the former Yugoslavia. Emirates' service between Dubai and Zagreb has generated strong interest on the Indian travel market, in line with targets set out by both the airline and the Croatian Ministry for Tourism to produce more passengers from the Indian subcontinent to Croatia. Emirates' Vice President for India and Nepal, Essa Ahmed, said, "Interest among Indians for our service to Zagreb has been very strong. Tourism motivated by TV or movies has really exploded in India in recent years. Filming locations in Dubrovnik featured in popular TV series like "Game of Thrones", has seen a huge jump in tourist interest over the last two years. These shows are inspiring the new breed of travellers to capture the striking landscapes that they view on shows on a daily basis and become a part of the fantasy tale that they love". Croatia has identified India as a high-potential long-distance market.

Air India recently expanded its codeshare partnerships with fellow Star Alliance members Croatia Airlines and Adria Airways. The Croatian carrier has its "OU" designator code and flight numbers on Air India's services from Mumbai to London and from Delhi to Frankfurt, London, Vienna, Rome and Paris. In return, the Indian national carrier has placed its code and flight numbers onto Croatia Airlines' services from Split, Dubrovnik and Zagreb to Frankfurt, London, Vienna, Rome and Paris. "As part of the agreement, Croatia Airlines, as a regional airline, has obtained an opportunity of strengthening its position on the large and fast-growing Indian market", the carrier said. On the other hand, Air India and Adria have a free flow codeshare agreement in place, meaning neither carrier is restricted to the number of seats it offers and sells on the others’ flights. Adria currently has its code and flight numbers on Air India’s services between New Delhi and Frankfurt, while the Indian carrier has its flight numbers and codes on Adria’s services between Frankfurt and Ljubljana.

Comments

  1. With what plane does Indigo plan to start Europe flights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Airbus A321LR

      Delete
    2. Last week IndiGo switched 125 Airbus A320neos orders to A321neos. IndiGo now has 150 of A321neo jets on order.

      Delete
    3. Shows how insignificant the ex-yu airlines are.

      Delete
    4. Umm you might want to check the size of India's population.

      Delete
    5. For the past 50 months (or so) India has been recording passenger growth in double digits. It only makes sense for their airlines to be growing at a fast pace.

      By the way, IndiGo has revealed the other day that it will either stop at Baku or Tbilisi on its way to Gatwick.

      Delete
  2. Air Serbia could have considered some charters once or twice a month to New Delhi since there are Serbian tour groups going there in winter. Better that than their A330 sitting in BEG for most of the week from November.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most logical would be for Jet Airways to actually fly this route considering its part of EY partners.

      Delete
    2. @9:05 - Eternal problem. I guess that suits EY better than bypassing AUH by any means.

      Delete
    3. Jet Airways is in quite a lot of financial problems, so I doubt they will be starting new routes of this type any time soon.

      Delete
    4. Indigo makes the most sense for the type of passengers Serbia hopes to attract, which they say in the text.

      Delete
    5. ^^ Really?

      "These are travellers who have visited Western and Southern Europe and now want to experience the beauty of Eastern European destinations that are rich in culture, architecture and cuisine."

      Delete
    6. Look at what the ambassador said.

      Delete
    7. Very different from what the tour operator said.

      "From India, Serbia is targeting young professionals and backpackers who like to explore countries and are open to new experiences"

      Delete
  3. India is a huge market with a growing number of travelers. Not surprising really.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A market often overlooked in our region but which has great potential

    ReplyDelete
  5. If EK was to start DXB-ZAG-JFK flights I'm sure they could get more Indians fly the route. They could offer some 24 hour stop over program in Zagreb through Emirates Holidays

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt they have any such plans.

      Delete
    2. Emirates couldn't make it in winter.

      Delete
    3. They should maybe fly to Dubrovnik and connect it to a point in North America.

      Delete
    4. This works great EK should do it DXB-PRN-JFK at least 3x a week and ZAG 4x in a week.

      Delete
    5. Lol... yeah and who would fly from DXB to PRN? There were several attempts at linking PRN with the UAE and all of them failed. Also, PRN-JFK would only work for 2.5 months in summer and only if EK is willing to offer dirt cheap fares.

      DXB-SKP-JFK has more chance as Macedonia is richer, has a stronger international brand and a larger catchment area.

      Delete
    6. Anonym...10:41

      Sounds like you are still sleeping and dreaming! Wake up, SKP is away behind to overtake PRN and reach in JFK.

      Delete
    7. Anon 11.03

      And how so? Just because PRN is giving subsidies left and right? SKP on the other hand has not given them in years and all of the routes that fly now are selfsustaining.

      Delete
    8. Glorious SKP with its natural organic growth, no subsidies, where an Hungarian low-cost has more than half of the market. All SKP needs now is a JFK flight, because its completed in every other aspect. We are going to see the real SKP now, W6 has already started growing in PRN.

      Delete
    9. Guys guys ... Even Belgrade is not really capable of sustaining flights to New York.

      Delete
    10. Yes, that's why they have been operating for two years.

      Delete
    11. He meant without large subsidies and other (amongst political) "support.

      Delete
  6. From where in India do these travellers coming to the Balkans hail from? Anyone know?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm assuming from the major cities

      Delete
  7. I was in Budapest a few weeks ago and was surprised by the number of Indian tourists. They are definitely taking note of this region.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Croatia should think about getting nonstop flights to India.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How many Indian tourists in Croatia this year?

      Delete
  9. Not sure Croatia warrants direct flights just yet, in 2018 less than 66 000 Indians will visit the country, even with projections for 2019 (80 000 visitors from India) and 2020 (96000 visitors), numbers are still bellow 100 000. I would welcome Indian carrier, don't get me wrong, but I think numbers need to be over 200 000 for carrier from Asia to show up, in fact ideally 300 000.

    There's a chance for Chinese carrier to come in 2019 (340 000 Chinese visitors expected), but most likely in 2020 (500 000 Chinese visitors expected), If Croatia could attract as many Indian visitors, the country could see potential for direct link.


    Non European visitors 2018/1-10:

    USA - 568.584
    S. Korea - 360.002
    Australia - 239.448
    China - 217.553
    Canada - 175.562
    Japan - 148.273
    Taiwan - 116.253
    Brazil - 64.765
    India - 62.388
    Argentina - 52.593
    Singapore - 45.894
    New Zealand - 42.664
    Malaysia - 38.543
    Hong Kong - 32.035
    Thailand - 34.869
    South Africa - 24.646
    Mexico - 16.942
    ME/UAE/Qatar/Kuwait - ~24 000
    Chile - 13.198
    Indonesia: 11.512

    Projections for entire 2018:

    USA - 600.000
    Korea - 450.000 (Koreans travel more in winters)
    Australia - 270.000
    China - 250.000
    Canada - 200.000
    Japan - 175.000
    Taiwan - 125.000
    Brazil - 70.000
    India - 66.000
    Argentina - 57.000
    Singapore - 47.000
    New Zealand - 47.000
    Malaysia - 40.000
    Hong Kong - 35.000
    Thailand - 37.000
    South Africa - 27.000
    Mexico - 20.000
    ME/UAE/Qatar/Kuwait - ~26 000
    Chile - 15.000
    Indonesia: 12.000

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How many non European tourists come on cruise ships?

      Delete
  10. It's not just about Indian tourists, it's also about does any ex-Yu market have outbound traffic to India.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went to India some 6-7 years ago. I did my visa in Embassy of India in Zagreb. You bring passport, filled form, fee money and photo in the morning and visa is ready in the afternoon. I was surprised to see some 50 croatian passports on the file for that day only. I asked if it's always like that and got affirmative answer. Which means that years ago, one flight per week could work for passengers from Croatia only. Meanwhile people here started travel even more, and if we add Slovenes which could use potential service, it's at least two weekly for pax from HR and SLO, and at least the same for indian passengers, which is four weekly. If one half of all of them decide to continue with transfering, 2 weekly India - ZAG can start tomorrow.

      Delete
  11. Hopes and expectations are one thing, the actual outcome is a whole different matter. I don't think any ex-YU city will be getting a non-stop flight to India. The overall market is still small, underdeveloped and relatively poor with barely any business links.

    As for these tourists who want to visit the region, well, they have more than enough options with Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines (Air India flights to VIE), Qatar, flydubai/Emirates, Etihad...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ME3 have awesome connections to India, I think direct flights are highly unrealistic when cheap flights with quality airlines are available.

      Delete
    2. JU actually have an appropriate plane. Solid economy seats and few business seats from previous era. Quite useful for travel tours.

      Delete
    3. ^ I'm assuming through Etihad and Abu Dhabi?

      Delete
    4. There is also another factor, no Indian carrier could launch more than two weekly flights on a narrow-body aircraft. MEB3 would kill them with frequencies as well especially when considering markets outside DEL and BOM.

      Delete
    5. Indigo has said it plans to launch long haul flights with A321.

      Delete
    6. Yeah and I am sure ex-YU won't be their priority.

      Delete
  12. So basically all Europeans can get their visa online including Yugoslav citizens. I don´t see MK in the list:

    https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have seen a lot of Indians in Zagreb this year. Not surprising with that increase in the number of Indian tourists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 66000 Indian visitors expected this year in Croatia, half of them visit Zagreb, well most do, but half go down to the coast, Split, Dubrovnik. However, don't expect number of Indian visitors to suddenly jump, India is still very poor country with very low pays when compared to our standards. Chinese have emerging middle class which now is around 300 million strong, these people have money, most earn around $12-16 000 per year, and in Shanghai, Hong Kong that average is double that, around $25-36000 per year. Indian middle class is still relatively poor @$6000-9000 per year. Chinese visitors to EU have quadrupled in past decade, Croatia is just catching up. Indian visitor numbers to the EU are relatively low, at around 10% that of Chinese visitors, which generate around $40 billion in tourist revenue to number of EU nations, from Ireland, to Germany, from Croatia to Spain...

      Number of Indian visitors to Croatia won't exceed 100 000 in 2020, Number of Chinese visitors to Croatia will pass 500k mark in 2020, with relative ease. projections are 270k this year, 380k in 2019 and 550k in 2020 @present rate of growth, and Chinese spend money like mad, on an average $250 on shopping alone. They're behind Mexican and US visitors, highest spenders. Last year Chinese visitors generated/spent $286 billion in tourism revenue worldwide. Only US Visitors spent more @$335 billion but it is expected by 2025 Chinese visitors will spend more than US Visitors.

      When India reaches Chinese level of development, around 2040, I expect they'll be spending money like Chinese today.

      Delete
  14. I wonder how many people travel through with the Air India codeshares to Zagreb and Ljubljana.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think the Serbian free visa scheme for Indian travellers is starting be abused. I have seen an enormous influx of Sikhs on the streets in Belgrade and I think they are all after asylum. We will see.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Would be nice if we could see exact figures for Indian arrivals for all ex-Yu nations.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Take note of the fact that outbound tourism of India is - relative to the number of its population - actually really quite small and travel is often either inbound tourism, for business reasond or vfr respectively gastos (Indian nationals working abroad). I would be surprised if a link to anywhere in Exyu would last longer than a few months. Also just look at larger, more famous and richer markets in Europe, many don't have services to India or their European national carriers gave up on India i.e. OS not flying anymore since years and AI now serving Vienna only 3pw. Furthermore, india is a poor marjet and wages are low.

    ReplyDelete
  18. All ex-Yu countries have to sign a bilateral agreement with India (except Serbia which has done it) for any flights to start. This is an extremely long process because India is very protectionist and negotiates these deals for a very long period of time. The Serbian negotiations lasted 2 years.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Would be nice if Indigo established something like Delhi-Belgrade-London and get fifth freedom rights, so Air Serbia can finally get some competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they are looking more along the lines of Istanbul but we shall see.

      Delete
  20. There will never be flights - the moment Indians arrive in big numbers Serbia will reintroduce visa wrecking everything- same as was done with Iran.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True that. With a single call from Brussels the whole visa liberation scheme of Serbias government was killed before it even went up. Btw Indian passport holders are denied entry and sent back so many times that nobody even bothers to come now.

      Delete
    2. Care to back up your last claim because it seems patheticly wrong.

      Delete
  21. Once they establish such flights we will see again how the visa restrictions will be imposed on Indians.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.