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BA lists India 2nd largest market after US

October 26, 2007 13:28 IST

Observing that India was a 'voluminous route', British Airways has listed the country as the second largest market after the US and the third after Australia in terms of its revenue share.

The premier airline, which used to operate 19 weekly flights to Indian destinations two years ago, now operates 43 services from London Heathrow to five cities in India.

"India will be the next biggest after the US in the long-haul market. ... As far as revenues are concerned, India is the third largest closely competing with Australia (in the second place after the US). Our plans are to stay big here," Robbie Baird, BA's area general manager for the Asia-Pacific region, told PTI.

Asked whether the British carrier would deploy the largest aircraft, Airbus A-380, or the long-haul Boeing B-787s on the India sector, he said the airline's policy was to consolidate and then expand on the existing network.

"We have done so in Delhi, Mumbai and now in Bangalore.While in Delhi and Mumbai, double dailies to London-Heathrow have been launched, the aircraft size has been expanded on the Bangalore route from B-777s to B-747s," Baird said.

Indicating that the large planes could be introduced in the Indian sector in the next 4-5

years after they were inducted in the BA fleet, he said, "but who knows how fast the market grows" as witnessed on the India route in the past two years. "It depends on how the demand grows here".

Baird was in New Delhi for the launch of the new Business Class seat. He said the latest product would be available for BA passengers from Delhi from Monday, with two B-747s coming into Delhi.

The new seat can be turned into a six-feet long fully-flat bed, having an enhanced in-flight entertainment system, a privacy screen and a plush and relaxing surrounding.

"We are giving our customers what they want -- not gimmicks and gadgets - but an environment that is comfortable, flexible and private, with service that anticipates their every need," said BA's Area Commercial Manager Amanda Amos.

She said the Club Kitchen for the Business Class would now provide a greater range of eatables and wider choice of drinks.

The airline recently launched its upgraded website 'ba.com' through which a traveller can plan his journey sitting at home.

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