British Airways is planning to open a cabin crew base in Hyderabad, India. The move is to provide more Telugu speaking crew on the route from London to Hyderabad from 2020.
India is an important market for British Airways. In fact, over the past six years, the airline has launched several adverts targeted at passengers travelling between London and India. Today, Business Traveller revealed that the British airline is going to start basing crew in India. This will see Telugu speakers trained in London, and acting as crew on the London to Hyderabad route. Around a year ago BA announced it was closing its Hong Kong crew base.
British Airways’ is attempting to tailor its Indian services towards all passengers. Indeed, according to Business Traveller, two Indian crew members are rostered onto every flight operating to and from the country.
The airline currently operates to five destinations within India. These flights all operate from the airline’s home at Heathrow and fly to Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Indeed, the route to Bengaluru is set to be the fourth to receive the carrier’s new Airbus A350 aircraft.
Now, passengers on the Hyderabad to London route will benefit from cabin crew speaking the local language of the region, Telugu. According to the 2011 Indian census, there are 81 million native speakers of the language. These speakers are mostly concentrated in the central part of the east coast of India.
The crew will be fully-fledged members of British Airways cabin crew. They will have been trained at the carrier’s main location in London to the same standards as any other member of crew. The only difference will be that they start and end their workday in Hyderabad, not London.
Offering “familiar culture”
According to British Airways, adding a crew base in India will give customers a familiar culture during their journey. Moran Birger of British Airways told Business Traveller,
“India is a diverse country with different languages spoken across cities. Opening an additional base in Hyderabad means we can offer customers the language skills and familiar culture they value for a comfortable journey.”
Flights between the United Kingdom and India are an important market. While British Airways has been targeting adverts specifically to the route, other airlines are also looking to join in on the action.
Earlier this year, Simple Flying caught up with Nino Judge, the CEO of low-cost startup flypop. Just looking at one single route between London and Amritsar (not served by British Airways), Judge told us that the route has approximately 200,000 passengers per year.
Simple Flying contacted British Airways for comment.
Do you think having Telugu speaking crew on board will increase the experience on BA’s Hyderabad flights? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.