This will bring in much needed competition to Lufthansa, which flies Bangalore to Frankfurt direct. Air India too has a flight out of Bangalore but requires a 5-6 hour stop over at Mumbai. I haven't seen a Lufthansa flight that wasn't jam packed as yet, and getting tickets was always a bit dicey. Now, that we have 2 additional carriers, hopefully, some of the traffic will be diverted. In addition, I hope the competition leads to a reduction in ticket prices.
Air France infact has a special inaugural return fare from Bangalore to CDG, Paris at Rs 19000/- ($421/-), which is pretty amazing. What that translates to is a price of around $1000 for return fare from the East Coast of USA to Bangalore.
Most of the people flying into Bangalore are of three types
- Parents flying back home after visiting children in the U.S. or folks travelling to India to meet family (40%)
- Business Travellers, many of whom are crammed in economy class (50%)
- Only about 10% travel on holiday.
The only real problem with the flights are that they aren't Boeing 747s but A340s. I can't comment on the A340s technical advantages but as a passenger I always found A340s quite cramped The leg room is minimal and when one has a 20 hour flight (10 hours to Frankfurt and 10 from Frankfurt to Bangalore), its not easy.
FOAF said that 747s cannot land in Bangalore due to runway concerns. I don't know if that is the case, but we definitely don't have any 747s landing here. All that will change once the new airport is built.