Monday, July 11, 2016

Analysis: Bengaluru-Guwahati direct flight

by Soumen Mukherjee

The prospect of new direct flight between Bengaluru, the leading metropolis of South India and Guwahati, the hub of entire North East India, has never been so bright. As a rapid increase has been experienced in the demand of air travel between the two cities in recent timesIn fact Bengaluru is the fourth busiest domestic route from Guwahati. In May 2016, a total of 17,223 O&D passengers (two-way) have traveled between Bengaluru and Guwahati which is more than double the number of passengers traveled almost a year ago. The flight distance between Bengaluru and Guwahati is 2,042 km (1,102 nm) making it one of the longest domestic route in India.





Domestic city-pair passenger data released by DGCA shows how the Bengaluru-Guwahati O&D passenger traffic has grown in the past ten month. Even considering the seasonal variation in demands, the rise in the passenger volume has been significant. Where even the one-way passenger volume in May 2016 has surpassed the two-way passenger volume in August 2015. 
Apart from the fast passenger growth, both Bengaluru-Guwahati and Kolkata-Guwahati are CAT-II routes. Which make these preferable routes for airlines as they are guided by the RDG requirements. Guwahati being the heart of entire North East, often direct flights from other metros are further extended to other secondary destinations in North East* (CAT-IIA routes).
Period
BLR-GAU pax
GAU-BLR pax
Total pax
Aug 2015
3,563
4,103
7,666
Sept 2015
3,397
3,047
6,444
Oct 2015
4,455
4,007
8,462
Nov 2015
4,591
4,430
9,021
Dec 2015
6,020
5,077
11,097
Jan 2016
5,145
5,172
10,317
Feb 2016
4,575
4,692
9,262
Mar 2016
3,994
4,442
8,436
Apr 2016
7,860
6,829
14,689
May 2016
8,310
8,913
17,223

Given the long and thin nature of the sector, not many non-stop flights operate between the above city-pair. IndiGo is the only airline to fly non-stop flights on the route. It had launched its first non-stop flight on the route back in February 2013 and so far increased non-stop frequency only to double daily. AirAsia India is also known to have plans of launching Bengaluru-Guwahati non-stop flight with the arrival of its seventh aircraft but the fate of which is currently unknown. 
Share of BLR-GAU seat-capacity in July'16
At present, Jet Airways (by JetLite) and SpiceJet operate one-stop direct flight between Bengaluru and Guwahati via Kolkata. While Vistara operates one-stop direct flight via its Delhi hub but the connection is only unidirectional (BLR-DEL-GAU). Kolkata is best suited for an intermediate stop between Bengaluru and Guwahati as it is suitably placed right on the flight path (one-stop distance 2,048 km) and passenger traffics to Kolkata are high from both the end. It is the busiest route from Guwahati and fifth busiest route from Bengaluru as of May 2016. Now, Vistara is scheduled to launch new double daily flights to Bengaluru and daily flight to Guwahati from its Kolkata base in October 2016. And the full-service airline is going to provide one-stop direct flight between Bengaluru and Guwahati via Kolkata.

Bengaluru-Guwahati direct flight schedule*
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
No of Stop
6E 457
Bengaluru: 07:45
Guwahati: 10:45
Non-stop
6E 119
Bengaluru: 15:45
Guwahati: 18:45
Non-stop
S2 4363
Bengaluru: 07:20
Guwahati: 11:50
One-stop at CCU
SG 657
Bengaluru: 10:40
Guwahati: 14:35
One-stop at CCU
UK 868
Bengaluru: 06:30
Guwahati: 12:10
One-stop at DEL

6E 389
Guwahati: 09:15
Bengaluru: 12:15
Non-stop
6E 316
Guwahati: 16:55
Bengaluru: 20:00
Non-stop
SG 658
Guwahati: 15:10
Bengaluru: 19:25
One-stop at CCU
S2 4364
Guwahati: 15:55
Bengaluru: 20:35
One-stop at CCU
*
IndiGo flight 6E 457 operates on HYD-BLR-GAU-IXA route. 
IndiGo flight 6E 119 operates on MAA-BLR-GAU route.
SpiceJet flight SG 567 operates on BLR-CCU-GAU route.
Jet Airways (JetLite) flight S2 4363 operates on BLR-CCU-GAU-IMF/JRH route.

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