Singapore (2009-03-10)

TWO European carriers Virgin Atlantic Airways and Finnair have announced suspension of their Mumbai operations this summer.

Virgin Atlantics London-Mumbai service will be temporarily suspended from May 3 as demand for seats on this route is falling..." />
 
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Mumbai not hot this summer
 
Singapore (2009-03-10)

TWO European carriers Virgin Atlantic Airways and Finnair have announced suspension of their Mumbai operations this summer.

Virgin Atlantic's London-Mumbai service will be temporarily suspended from May 3 as demand for seats on this route is falling fast and current operators on this route have lowered the fares to almost unsustainable levels, according to a spokesman.

Passenger numbers on this route has fallen 18 per cent between January and November 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. The spokesman added: “The route is full of carriers making huge losses so we are not prepared to continue serving it.”

Virgin's daily London-New Delhi service meanwhile continues unaffected and the airline intends to monitor the situation with a view to restore the London-Mumbai service when the economic situation improves.

Finnair's four times weekly Helsinki-Mumbai service heavily dependent on passengers travelling beyond Helsinki to other parts of Europe and across the North Atlantic will be suspended from May till mid-October.

Finnair's vice-president for network strategies, Mr Petteri Kostermaa, said: “Overcapacity has driven fare levels radically down and the cost level has not declined respectively. Market conditions for the entire summer period look bleak.”

Summer traffic is traditionally weaker than during the winter season on the Mumbai route and Finnair will continue to operate its daily service between Helsinki and New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Air France will be suspending its thrice-weekly Paris-Chennai service end-March, while KLM and Austrian Airlines have announced cuts in their Amsterdam-Hyderabad service and Vienna-Mumbai service respectively.

Singapore Airlines has suspended service to Amritsar and Syrian Arab Airlines has pulled out of Mumbai.
 
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