High airfares remain a challenge: Thomas Cook India’s Madhavan Menon

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“We hope to see the demand-supply constraints ease a bit with new aircraft being introduced into the network, but this will be over the long term,” Menon said

Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook India
Madhavan Menon, Executive Chairman, Thomas Cook India

Press Trust of India New Delhi

High airfares remain a challenge that impacts India’s leisure and business travellers, Thomas Cook India’s Executive Chairman Madhavan Menon said.

In an interview with PTI, he shared that airline capacity too continues to be a challenge despite an increase in scheduled flights.

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“We hope to see the demand-supply constraints ease a bit with new aircraft being introduced into the network, but this will be over the long term,” Menon said.

On the company’s expansion plans, he informed that Thomas Cook India is working on expanding and strengthening its physical network with a combination of owned and franchise outlets and accelerating its digital footprint in the country.

“With a focus on viable source markets, we continue our retail expansion with a combination of owned and franchise outlets, across metros/mini-metros and regional India.

“Additionally, for our foreign exchange business, we have leveraged existing franchise outlets to set up foreign exchange counters within the same premises. This enables us to ramp up the scale of our distribution with speed,” Menon added.

On the challenges faced by it in India, Menon said that while visa concerns on appointment slots or turnaround time are heightened during the peak season, we have seen an improvement over the last year.

“High airfares remain a challenge that impacts India’s leisure and business travellers. Airline capacity too continues to be a challenge, and this is despite an increase in scheduled flights,” Menon said.

He asserted that easier visa regimes in terms of eVisas, Visa on Arrival and the announcements on free-visa entry for Indians help boost visitations by Indian consumers.

The Thomas Cook India Executive Chairman shared that the upside is the announcement of free visa entry by destinations like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Thailand and also Schengen’s recent multi-entry longer-term cascade visa regime should ease the bandwidth of the consular teams.

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