So it's official. The new Bangalore airport (henceforth BIAL) is falling pathetically short of space, not to mention the pain and expense of commuting for an hour at least. One of the solutions under consideration is opening up the old airport (HAL) for certain flights. Now my question is: Suppose you were to decide how the load is to be divided, what would you do?
There are three possibilities that I see:
- Budget airlines move to HAL: Lower airport taxes and commuting costs mean the cheap flight is cheap again. Or is it? Who'll want to fly Kingfisher from BIAL when Spice is leaving from their backyard? The business traveler loves luxury, but does he/she love waking up at 2:30 am for that 11 am meeting in Delhi? And again, if the demand for cheap tickets goes up, will the budget airlines raise prices and use this chance to come out of the red?
- Fancy airlines move to HAL: The corporate traveler wakes up at 6 now. The budget folk spend 1000 bucks on the taxi, 200 for airport food unless they pack their poori sagu along, and pay huge airport tax to fly. What the heck! I'll give that extra 1200 and then some to Kingfisher and fly outta HAL! (Another twist to the tale which I thought of was making the HAL people pay BIAL airport tax, and vice versa. Keeps BIAL tickets cheap as an incentive for those who have time at hand.)
- HAL operates flights only at peak times: Every airline has a primetime flight or two that leaves from HAL at a higher cost than from BIAL. If you have commuting issues, just pick from these. If the flights are sensibly spaced out, every airline gets to profit.
Would you vote for any of these? Do you have a better solution? Please post it here!
Unrelated: One of the Bangalore bombs went off at the end of my lane, exactly where I walk every morning on my way to work. Not so funny anymore.