European airline major Austrian Airlines group is negotiating with Bollywood production houses for transporting film crew at international shooting locations and launched direct services from Mumbai to Vienna.
"We have arranged travel and shooting facilities for 50 film crew in Bollywood in last three to four years. Currently, we are negotiating with more production houses for selecting Austrian film locations," Bernhard Baeck, country manager (India), said.
Baeck said the airlines is talking to the Mumbai-based Sohail Production house and a 25-member film crew is expected to travel in this month.
"Another 70-member Bollywood team from Mumbai will fly in December and we are in talks with few more production houses," Baeck said.
About incentives to Bollywood crew, he said the industry is not entitled to get any sops as the facilitation programme is organised by private tourism board.
"India is a potential market as they love to travel in groups. Moreover, there are several tour operating companies who are focussed on group travels," Baeck said.
Meanwhile, after a successful flight operation in New Delhi, Austrian Airlines has launched five non-stop services per week to Mumbai from Vienna and this would be hauled by a long-haul Boeing 767 with 36 Business and 209 Economy class seats.
"Our Delhi service has a very strong average load factor of approximately 77 per cent year-round and we expect to transport around 145,000 passengers in 2005," Vagn Soerensen, chief executive officer, said.
Our Mumbai service will transport over 30,000 people in this year," Vagn Soerensen, chief executive officer, said.
He said, "We are considering a third destination in India in a later stage. This may be in Chennai, Bangalore or Hyderabad."