Aviation

Singapore Airlines may grab Emirates, Etihad traffic in India

The coronavirus outbreak is unexpectedly providing an opportunity to Singapore Airlines Ltd. to grab a share of the lucrative Indian market held by rivals Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways PJSC through a local affiliate.

Vistara, which Singapore Airlines jointly owns with Indian conglomerate Tata Group, is about to get its second Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner jet, and expects demand for long-haul international travel from India to rise when travel restrictions lift, Chief Commercial Officer Vinod Kannan said in an interview. While the outbreak has delayed expansion plans for the airline, people will prefer direct flights as demand returns toward the end of the year, he said.

“There will be an increase in the number of people who want to travel direct, say, from India to Europe, because they don’t want to transit through another hub that increases travel time, that increases exposure,” Kannan said this week.

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