Shandong Airlines recently took Indian agents to the Shandong province in China to showcase its tourism products, chart a growth path and strengthen relations between the two countries.
NISHA VERMA FROM SHANDONG
For Wang Shuai, General Representative-India, Shandong Airlines, India remains a crucial market since there are a lot of trade relations between the two countries. “Shandong Airlines opened its India-China flight from November 2015, operating four flights per week from Shandong via Kunming to Delhi. Now, Shandong Airlines has more than 100 aircraft, with its majority market being the domestic market in China,” he said.
However, now they are expanding in other markets as well, including India. In order to make itself more visible, the airline organised a Fam trip of Indian agents to the region recently. “This is the first trip of Indian agents to Shandong. While many agents have travelled to other parts of China like Beijing and Shanghai, they do not know much about Shandong province. Hence, we want to introduce more beautiful destinations for Indian people, especially when we have great connectivity flights to Shandong,” he added.
He insisted that the Indian market is important for them. “It is the fifth important country we operate international flights to, especially when China and India are world’s biggest countries in terms of population and growing economies. While there are not many people travelling between these two countries, but in the near future, we’d have more communication channels open between India and China,” he added.
Explaining the demographics on Shandong Airlines, Shuai revealed that on their Delhi-Shandong flights, 60 per cent passengers are Chinese while the rest are Indians. “Not many Indians come to visit China for leisure, because there are only a few promotions in the Indian market and not many Indians know Shandong,” he said. Talking of the growth plan, Shuai revealed that owing to limited bilaterals, they cannot have more flights in India. However, he said, “We have cooperation with Vistara in India, which would allow passengers on Shandong Airlines to go to Mumbai and Bengaluru from Delhi and vice versa. Those travelling from Delhi to Jinan can also take further connections to Shanghai or Beijing on our domestic network. Also, we are booking two wide-bodied aircraft, which we can get on the Delhi route, depending on the market.”
Shuai said that Shandong Airlines do most of their promotions with Air China group. “Also, we have very good relations with China National Tourist Office in New Delhi, which gives us necessary help to promote the country together and support each other in making new packages,” he claimed.
•Shandong Airlines opened its India-China flight from November 2015.
•It connects Delhi to Shandong via Kungming
•The airline has cooperation with Vistara in India, which would allow passengers on Shandong Airlines to go to Mumbai and Bengaluru from Delhi
“Those travelling from Delhi to Jinan can also take further connections to Shanghai or Beijing on our domestic network. Also, we are booking two wide-bodied aircraft, which we can get on the Delhi route, depending on the market”
–Wang Shuai, General Representative-India, Shandong Airlines