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Austrian Airlines Ceasing Vienna-Mumbai Flights

Austrian Airlines is looking to cut costs and in an effort to do so they are halting all flights from Vienna to Mumbai. Austrian is not the first airline to do so as American Airlines and AirAsia X have also either ceased or reduced flights to the city. The official statement, released on Monday, says that Austrian will stop its Vienna-Mumbai service as of March 25 and that this new development was due to their “challenging economic situation.”

The statement that was released also made it clear that the airline is implementing a new program that is aimed at improving profits and sustainability. This new program includes three components, including improving results, cutting costs, and adapting the route network. Austrian Airlines’ partners, Lufthansa and Swiss, have between the two of them 21 weekly flights from Mumbai to Munich, Zurich, and Frankfurt.

Why are airlines pulling out of Mumbai? The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) spent a year assessing costs at the Delhi Airport and has recommended an increase in tariffs of four times their current value. This increase in costs will most likely happen at the Mumbai airport as well and those airlines that have not pulled their service to the airport, such as Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, and British Airways, are protesting the increase in tariffs.

Kamal Hingorani, senior vice-president of SpiceJet Ltd, was quoted as stating that the “proposed increase may lead to even closure of some airlines.” It is clear that the increased fees will be passed on to the passengers, who will have to pay increased fare prices and this might lead to the closure of some airlines, according to Pieter De Man, general manager, India subcontinent, Air France. Ultimately, the increase in tariffs might make the Delhi Airport one of the most expensive in the world and this will remove it from competition as a hub for travel in Asia and the east.

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