In what could be termed as rapid expansion, the aviation sector is uplifting second-tier cities in India by launching new flights and airports. While the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is focusing on expanding airports in second-tier cities, there are several players launching flights connecting them. The trend is not only helping to increase connectivity but also brings new growth opportunities to the masses living in those cities. For the aviation sector, this means tapping into the purchasing power of middle-class sector of India, whose spending is known to show a rise.
Vistara on an expansion spree
A recent article by Financial Express lists out a few of the latest flight launches connecting the second-tier cities of the country. The most recent launch was by the full-service provider Vistara. Vistara launched flights to-and-fro from cities like Mumbai and Delhi to Udaipur and Jodhpur. These launches will benefit the tourists visiting Rajasthan. They can take connection flights from Delhi and Mumbai to other parts of the country as well.
Vistara also launched flights between Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala, and Delhi. Kerala is another known tourist destination and is a place with growing entrepreneurs. Vistara’s Delhi-Patna flight; service between Varanasi and Khajuraho, two popular pilgrim spots, are also similar.
Budget players SpiceJet and GoAir have their focus on tier-2 cities
Considering the budget carrier SpiceJet, the airline has launched more than 40 flights connecting second-tier cities across India. Some of the notable launches include Chennai-Durgapur; Bengaluru-Guwahati; Hyderabad-Aurangabad; Mumbai-Jodhpur; Vijayawada-Vishakhapatnam; and Mumbai-Rajkot.
Air India, amid its disinvestment process, has launched flights between Amritsar and Patna. The airline also extended another service to the UK through its Mumbai-Amritsar-Stansted route.
GoAir, on the other hand, has launched non-stop flights between Delhi and cities like Bengaluru and Kolkata. The service provider also decided to extend its services in the North East by launching flights to Aizawl. Other services of GoAir connecting second-tier cities include Lucknow-Ahmedabad; Delhi-Chandigarh; Kolkata-Guwahati; Kolkata-Lucknow; and Chandigarh-Ahmedabad.
Indeed, there seems to be a rising trend of airlines increasing its services to second-tier cities.