The recent laptop ban on certain flights has greatly changed the dynamics of travel. Most of the Gulf carriers like Etihad, Emirates, Qatar have connecting passengers who are travelling to/from places other than the Middle East. Since these passengers do not originate from the Middle East they are free to book themselves on any other airline. For someone who is travelling to the US from India, can easily connect from Europe rather than the Middle East. The Gulf carriers have suffered quite a bit with bookings being cancelled due to this ban.
As we say someone’s loss is someone else’s gain. Air India says that their bookings have shot up considerably since the ban and because of the demand they have been able to hike up their prices as well.
Air India is clearly making hay while the sun shines. With bookings having doubled and they managing to increase fares by approximately INR 10,000, they are now looking at adding more connections to the US in the next year. They seem to be gearing up to meet this new demand by considering getting more 787’s to add to their fleet.