Air India to launch Frankfurt to Mumbai flights

Air India, the most prominent International Carrier from India, has been laying down plans to get even bigger by the day. Also though the US operations of the airline have been loss-making in the past, it is hoping that they will be able to charge the non-stop premium to India and bypass the transition via the middle-east. Delhi San Francisco Air India flights were launched three times a week in December 2015 and then doubled in frequency to 6 times a week in November 2016 and recently increased to 9 times a week.

Air India started a fifth freedom flight between London and Newark, by launching an Ahmedabad – London – Newark flightThey began flights to Madrid as well in December 2016 and took over the Delhi – Vienna flights from Austrian. I would say that is a spectacular show given they are going in all directions.

We earlier wrote about the Air India flight to Washington DC from Delhi. This went live on 7 July 2017 as well and is operating three times a week as of now. Next, in line, the launches to Stockholm & Copenhagen, have also completed and they are operating normally there. There has been much conversation on Air India launching flights to Los Angeles; however, it looks like pending the privatization of Air India that decision has been put on hold.

With the induction of 787s completed, Air India is still, however, trying to put them to good use. They added more flights to Sydney and are trying to explore more flights to Melbourne as well. Israel got 3X a week flights too, being the first ones to be able to overfly Saudi Arabian airspace to access Israel.

This week, Air India will increase frequency to Copenhagen by one more flight per week, and they also claim to be considering adding more flights to Vienna.

However, all the growth has been from Delhi so far, except the lone 787 flight from Mumbai to London that operates every day. You cannot fault Air India wanting to do the right thing with their Delhi hub.

Anyhow, it seems Mumbai is next in line to get at least some of Air India’s 787 operations. AI is planning to launch a direct flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt, as early as June this year. This flight would be operated thrice a week and depart for Frankfurt in the morning hours.

Air India Frankfurt to Mumbai

That is as much as we know about this right now. Perhaps the 787 they plan to use for this route is already deployed four times a week elsewhere. However, what beats me on this plan is that with three times a week, this will perhaps not be able to offer a reliable option as against Lufthansa who has two planes flying to Mumbai every day (one from MUC and FRA each). Frankfurt to Mumbai is not just a tourism market or a VFR market, but a substantial business travel market and the reason Lufthansa makes it work is a right amount of business travelers, as well as transit to Europe as well as North America.

While Air India is a part of the Star Alliance, it does not believe in code sharing as much to be able to offer options to transit further on Lufthansa-owned carriers. So, this would be another meek effort with cheap flights to get to Frankfurt, unfortunately, and nothing more than that if AI does not manage to scale up this flight quickly.

What do you think of Air India Frankfurt to Mumbai to Frankfurt flight plans, thrice a week?

Comments

  1. Ajay,

    There absolutely is a codeshare agreement between LH and AI.

    The same is true with OS; in fact that is how Austrian departed from India: basically entrusting Air India to take care of the India side while OS could handle Balkan and other assorted regional connections.

    I suspect LX and SN codeshare with AI as well.

    In fact, simply do a search on Google Flights and you can easily buy a roundtrip between DEL and FRA with overnight flights in both directions, LH in one direction, AI in the other, all on LH ticket stock.

    The codeshare seems to apply on European and South American itineraries to/from India. The latter case is because many flights from South America arrive in FRA after the India flights have departed. In addition some South America flights depart FRA at night, which make the AI inbound from DEL useful.

    • @Paddy, from my observation of Air India, the code sharing come much after they launch a route. For instance, there was no codeshare in place for the Nordic routes till a while after they launched. But anyhow, I can agree with 3 flights to new destinations but FRA is a big centre in my view and should have been given daily flights!

      • Do they have aircrafts to operate this route daily? Plus Bangalore seems to have more capacity to FRA than Mumbai. Anyway timings would also Play an important role to feed into LH’s network at FRA.

  2. Business traffic will mostly go to Lufthansa, AI, would probably be only left with O&D traffic and passengers connecting from the rest of India via Mumbai. Any idea how their Delhi – Frankfurt flight is doing?

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