Air India is working overtime towards fixing its International network to maximise revenue while it can. Air India has launched flights from non-metro airports in India to London Heathrow, such as from Amritsar, Goa, Ahmedabad and Kochi, etc., to operate to London Heathrow. These flights are currently operating in the Winter 2022 schedule. However, from Summer 2023 schedule, which will come into effect on March 26, 2023, these flights will be shifted from London Heathrow to London Gatwick.
Current Air India Operations as of January 2023
At the moment, Air India operates the following flights from India to London Heathrow:
- Delhi – London Heathrow: 14 Weekly
- Mumbai – London Heathrow: 13 Weekly
- Ahmedabad – London Heathrow: 4 Weekly
- Goa Dabolim – London Heathrow: 3 Weekly
- Amritsar – London Heathrow: 3 Weekly
- Cochin – London Heathrow: 3 Weekly
- Hyderabad – London Heathrow: 3 Weekly
Remember, the India – UK Air Services Agreement only caps capacity at Mumbai and Delhi in the case of Indian airports. Still, Air India, or any other Indian airline, can only operate 56 weekly frequencies to Delhi from UK airports, similar for Mumbai. Similarly, for other UK airlines as well.
Air India is shifting operations to London Gatwick in March 2023
Now, in the summer schedule, which will be launched on March 26, 2023, Air India is moving operations for many of their routes from London Heathrow to London Gatwick. Arguably this is because slots were denied to Air India at LHR for these routes. Hence, Air India will have 12 weekly flights to London Gatwick Airport to be launched as the Summer Schedule rolls out.
To Gatwick, Air India will operate a thrice-a-week service from cities such as Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Goa, and Kochi. It will become the only scheduled airline from India to offer direct services to UK’s second-largest airport. All of these flights will be removed from the London Heathrow operations.
Here are the new flights that will be launched to replace the London Heathrow operations.
However, Air India will go for five more services to London Heathrow from Delhi and Mumbai in the process. The current 14 weekly Delhi – London Heathrow will become 17 weekly when Air India heads into the Summer Schedule 2023. And from Mumbai, 14 weekly flights will be operated to London Heathrow, compared to the 12 at the moment. The three weekly flights from Hyderabad will be collateral damage in the process. Hyderabad will be left with British Airways as the only way to fly directly to London Heathrow.
Air India will move its flight operations between Ahmedabad/Kochi/Goa/Amritsar and London Heathrow, to be operated from London Gatwick, effective March 26, 2023, onwards. However, they will add five frequencies a week from Delhi and Mumbai to London Heathrow to enhance their operations from DEL/BOM to LHR. In the process, Hyderabad loses connectivity on Air India to London Heathrow.
What do you make of Air India’s new strategy to move all secondary airport flights to LGW from LHR?
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