INTERNATIONAL airlines are adding more business class seats on flights to India to meet the summer surge in demand.
Emirates will deploy Airbus A380 aircraft this August on Indian routes where the aircraft has not already been introduced, raising the number of business class seats from 52 to 76.
In June, Lufthansa started using Boeing 747-800 aircraft on the Mumbai-Frankfurt sector for 80 business class seats instead of 66; in May, Singapore Airlines (SIA) also began operating flights to Mumbai and New Delhi with the A380 (TTG Asia e-Daily, April 7, 2014).
David Lau, general manager India, SIA, noted that flights could be “a little full”, especially on weekends, even though SIA now offers 60 seats instead of 38. The carrier will configure its upper deck for all business class seating in future.
Aneel Guptaa, managing director, Anjali Tours Mumbai, said: “Business travel to Dubai has picked up by at least 20 per cent in the last few months...The increase in business class seats was essential as corporate clients demand confirmed seats on business class all the way through.”
Meanwhile Sanjeev Mehra, managing director, Aaryan Leisure & Holidays Kolkata, is witnessing a 15 to 20 per cent rise in demand for business travel but said Etihad Airways’ new routes to Kolkata would ensure sufficient capacity.