Neos, a Low-Cost Carrier based in Italy has announced its intention to enhance the frequencies of its flights from Amritsar International Airport. This news comes just weeks after a mobility agreement was signed between India and Italy.
In December 2023, the Indian Central Government approved the Migration and Mobility agreement between India and Italy. The motive behind this agreement was to foster the movement of students and skilled workers between both countries.
Neos: More Flights to Amritsar
Before knowing about expansion plans, it would be better to have an idea regarding the current operations of Neos in India.
Neos made its entry on the Indian aviation map when it started flights between Milan Malpensa International Airport and Amritsar Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport. The airline started India operations in December 2022. Since then, it has expanded its portfolio by connecting Amritsar Airport to three major cities in Italy – Milan (MXP), Rome (FCO) and Verona (VRN).
Chief Executive Officer of Neos, Carlo Stradiotti in a conversation with The Hindu Business Line announced that the airline will increase its presence from Amritsar in the upcoming Summer Schedule starting from March end. Neos Air will not add any new destination in India as its current focus is to expand operations from Amritsar Airport.
Amritsar Airport has a lot of potential in terms of international operations, which has been untapped. Neos wants to use this opportunity to foray deep into this market. It is prioritizing airports, which are not well connected to Europe. Amritsar is one of them.
One unique feature provided by Neos is the connecting flight to Toronto. In April 2023, Neos launched a direct flight from Amritsar to Toronto via Milan Malpensa. This route is significantly popular among the Punjabis. Nearly ninety percent of passengers traveling from Amritsar to Milan fly onwards to Canada. Flights to Rome and Verona focus on point-to-point connectivity rather than connecting traffic.
Fleet Induction Plans
This year, Neos is expecting delivery of four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. It will receive one in the next few days. As per data from aircraft tracking websites, one Boeing 737 MAX 8 is currently under production for Neos. Powered by CFM LEAP engines, the aircraft conducted its first test flight on 13 November 2023. This means that it will be delivered soon. It will be registered as EI-RZE. Neos is planning to deploy this new aircraft on routes to Amritsar.
This statement from the CEO comes at a moment when India-Italy relations are at an all-time high. In 2023-end, both countries signed an agreement to increase the movement of Indian students and skilled workers to Italy. Stradiotti said that with the signing of this agreement, the traffic flow between both countries can increase further, which perfectly aligns with the airline’s development plans. He added that Neos is always open to collaborating with foreign airlines as it is beneficial for everyone.
India-Italy Aviation Market
Currently, three airlines are operating between India and Italy. They are Air India, ITA Airways, and Neos. Indian LCC SpiceJet also started flights to Italy but later suspended the services because of unknown reasons. For some time, the airline even deployed the Airbus A340s on the Amritsar to Milan route. The A340 aircraft was leased by Romanian Charter Legend Airlines.
Air India started non-stop services connecting Delhi and Milan in February. This was a resumption service as the Indian Flag carrier used to operate this route until 2020. It is yet to restart services to Rome International Airport.
ITA Airways entered the Indian market in December 2022 with initial twice-weekly flights between Rome and Delhi. Gradually, it increased frequencies in a phased manner. Now, it is operating daily flights on this route. At the 1st anniversary of Delhi operations, the Country Manager shared the airline’s intent to expand services to Mumbai.
We have already learned about Neos in the upper sections. It connects Amritsar to Milan, Rome, and Verona.
Source: The Hindu Business Line