By Lakshmi Vishwanath | Bangalore
Dragonair, the sister airline of Cathay Pacific Airways launched its daily service on Bangalore-Hong Kong route, day before yesterday. The first flight landed at Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), at 01.18 hours on July 1, while the first flight from Bangalore to Hong Kong departed at 02.35 hours yesterday. Bangalore is the seventh new destination, being catered by Dragonair after joining hands with the Cathay Pacific Group in September 2006.
The airline has announced an initial promotional fare of Rs 22,000 on the Bangalore-Hong Kong route. The fare for Business Class is Rs 62,000, inclusive of taxes. Though the load factor of the airline is 80 per cent on an average, on the first flight from Hong Kong to Bangalore, the load factor was 91 per cent. There were 25 Business Class and 246 Economy Class passengers on the flight from Hong Kong to Bangalore. Similarly on the first flight from Bangalore to Hong Kong there were nine Business Class and 117 Economy Class passengers.
“We were looking for opportunities to enter the Indian market. The service to Bangalore was long overdue and we are very pleased to have commenced operations on this route to serve the business and leisure traffic to and from Bangalore,” said Tom Wright, General Manager, India, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited. The bilateral agreement announced earlier this year with regards to increased frequency between India and Hong Kong gave Cathay Pacific and Dragonair an opportunity to enhance their services to India. The airline will however not be able to service other Indian cities for now, as they are constrained by traffic restrictions. Commenting on the increase in Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices, Wright said, “It is hitting the aviation industry hard. The fuel prices have gone up by 60 per cent as compared to last year. The new aircraft therefore, is more fuel efficient. We have launched this service, as there is a huge demand from business travellers, despite the increase in fuel prices.” Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Airways together operate 35 flights from India. Cathay Pacific has recently added 20 new flights a week including new services from Chennai, making a total of 28 flights a week from India to Hong Kong.
Source : TravelBizMonitor