I’m back at my desk early this morning thinking and all excited about how 2014 would shape up for work, personal life and my travel plans. As an aviation geek, of course, I am looking forward to trying out new products in the skies and trying to decide what goals should I work towards in 2014. This year might just be a very exciting year for Indian aviation. Here is why:
- Air India might get accepted into the Star Alliance this year. Air India has been trying to get into the Star Alliance for a long time. After much back and forth, last month, they got invited to join the Star Alliance the second time over. Whether they will join or not will be something that will be clearer over the months ahead, but it sure is an exciting proposition that my status on an airline would work for me both domestically as well as internationally on 26+ carriers around the globe.
- Jet Airways and Etihad cooperation will kick in. As a frequent traveller on Jet Airways, I am keenly looking forward to see how the 9W-EY partnership will take shape. The discussion about Abu Dhabi becoming a hub for 9W is already starting to materialise, and 2014 would also be the year that Jet Airways would put its own metal on some new routes to North American & Europe. A rumor also going around is about 9W getting some A380s which are on order for Etihad and putting them in service. I am working to verify how true is that. Additionally, Jet Airways won’t join the Star Alliance this year, or any alliance for that matter.
- Indigo might be pursued to join an alliance. This has been going around for a while, and while I never believed this could come true. However, if Air India is moving forward with the Star Alliance, Sky Team might just pursue Indigo. Although it would be more beneficial for the alliance than for Indigo which will continue with its point-to-point model anyways.
- The A380 will fly to/from India. Airbus A380s have so far not been a part of the Indian skies because they were not allowed in the bilateral treaties with other countries. The government might be rethinking that rule, and will perhaps allow the A380 in the country anyways. Emirates, Lufthansa & Singapore Air would be some of the airlines which I expect to go live with the A380 in Indian stations once there is a go ahead.
- Mumbai air traffic will move to an integrated Terminal 2. Mumbai’s international and domestic traffic will move to terminal 2’s new building which will have domestic and international traffic all in one building. This one is coming up in January 2014.
- Air Asia India and Tata-SIA will fly. Two of India’s new airline projects, both part sponsored & owned by the Tata group will take flight this year. Air Asia India is expected to take flight in the Summer Schedule of 2014 & TATA-SIA full service airline in the Winter Schedule of 2014.
Anything I missed? Overall an exciting time to be in India with the Indian skies. Have a great year all of you, and safe travels in the coming year ahead.