Carriers see better times ahead as global economy recovers

In yet another sign that good times may be back again for the aviation sector, foreign carriers such as Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines and Singapore Airlines are reportedly planning to add flights to-and-fro Indian destinations.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) projections the aviation sector will register a 3.3 per cent recovery next year as the global economy recovers from the downturn.

As per an estimate, 2009 will see air traffic decline 4.5 per cent and with air traffic starting to pick up in the emerging economies foreign airlines have initiated capacity adjustments on their network and are deploying additional capacity on routes where demand has picked up.

According to Lufthansa director (South Asia) Axel Hilgers, the carrier was seeing the number of passengers as well as yield go up. Booking trends for the January-March 2010 period seemed quite positive, he added.

The German flag carrier operates six flights a week from Bangalore, and has plans to start daily flights adding one more to the schedule. Also it has plans to increase the number of economy seats on its Pune-Frankfurt flight.

The carrier's affiliates Swiss International Airlines and Austrian International Airlines would also plan to hike flight frequency to on Delhi and Mumbai routes.