Air India to launch flights to Nairobi and Bali

Back in May 2017, Air India announced on Twitter that they will launch 3x weekly Mumbai-Frankfurt and Mumbai-Nairobi flights each from July 2017. Finally, in September 2018, Air India opened up bookings for 4x weekly 787-8 flights on Mumbai-Frankfurt route with the first flight on October 28, 2018. 

On June 14, 2019, the new Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri announced that Air India will launch 3x weekly 777-300ER flights on Amritsar-Delhi-Toronto route from September 27, 2019. On June 17, 2019, Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted that Air India will start 4x weekly flights on Mumbai-Nairobi route from September 27, 2019.

Air India operated flights to Nairobi back in the day. They used to operate flights on Mumbai-Nairobi-Dar es Salaam sector but pulled out in 2010 due to high operating costs. Kenya Airways currently operates 2x daily flights blocked at 6:30 hours one way with a 737-800. I have travelled on this route before, KQ 211/204 and it was a comfortable flight on a narrowbody.

Air India nairobi

Air India A321

Apart from Kenya Airways, Air India will also compete with fellow Star Alliance member, Ethiopian Airlines which offers cheaper one-stop fares almost throughout the year. As of now, Ethiopian is offering INR 24k roundtrip one-stop economy fares on Mumbai-Nairobi route, which are INR 11k cheaper than what Kenya Airways is charging for non-stop flights.

Apart from this, Hardeep Singh Puri also announced that Air India will operate 4x weekly flights on Delhi-Chennai-Bali route from October 27, 2019.

As usual, Air India hasn’t announced the routes yet nor have they put out a schedule yet. Air India may operate an A320neo or an A321 on both the routes, especially considering there is a stop in Chennai for the Delhi-Bali route. Air India has a few A321s grounded for quite some time apart from some A319s, 747s, 787s and a 777. All grounded aircraft are expected to back by October 2019.

Air India nairobi

Air India’s new routes: Mumbai-Nairobi and Delhi-Chennai-Bali

Aircraft typeAircraft RegisterationStatusAirport Grounded AtLast FlightLast Flight onNotes
A319VT-SCNOperationalKolkataAI 628 NAG-BOMFebruary 7, 2019Back on March 6, 2019 AI 705 CCU-DIB FlightAware shows only 5 flights operated from November 28, 2018 to February 27, 2019
A319VT-SCROperationalMumbaiAI 626 LKO-BOMApril 07, 2019A few one off flights in June and July 2019, back from August 7, 2019
A319VT-SCSOperationalMumbaiAI 662 GOI-BOMFebruary 10, 2019Back on June 29, 2019 as AI 54 BOM-COK
A319VT-SCTGroundedDelhiAI 821 IXJ-SXRJanuary 14, 2019Before that operated AI 812 LKO-DEL on 12-11-2018
A319VT-SCUGroundedMumbaiAI 668 TRV-BOMDecember 26, 2018Operated one-off flight HYD-BOM on March 15, 2019
A319VT-SCVOperationalDelhiAI 1764 DEL-CCUJanuary 17, 2019Operated one-off flight BHO-BOM on March 23, 2019. Back on June 7, 2019 as AI230 CCU-DAC
A319VT-SCXGroundedDelhiAI 628 NAG-BOMFebruary 3, 2019FlightAware shows only 5 recorded operated flights since 13-11-2018
A321VT-PPLOperationalHyderabadAI 542 HYD-TIRFebruary 2, 2019Accident at Tirupati Airport. Before that operated last flight AI 24 DEL-BOM on 12-01-2019. Back on July 27, 2019 as AI 661 BOM-GOI
A321VT-PPMOperationalDelhiDEL-BOM (Cancelled)June 21, 2018Back on May 8, 2019 as AI 91 BOM-AMD
A321VT-PPNGroundedHyderabadAI 541 TIR-HYDJanuary 29, 2019
A321VT-PPTOperationalMumbaiAI 683 BOM-GOIAugust 11, 2018Back on March 8, 2019 AI 618 HYD-BOM
A321VT-PPUGroundedMumbaiAI 665 DEL-BOMSeptember 20, 2018
A321VT-PPWGroundedMumbaiAI 614 AMD-BOMApril 3, 2019
A321VT-PPXGroundedDelhiAI 806 BOM-DEL (Cancelled flight on November 28, 2018)Maybe July 22, 2018 as AI 630 NAG-BOM
A320VT-EDCOperationalDelhiAI 820 BDQ-DELFebruary 19, 2019Back on July 2, 2019
A320VT-EDFOperationalDelhiAI 840 HYD-DELFebruary 13, 2019Back on March 20, 2019 AI 439 DEL-MAA
747-400VT-ESPOperationalMumbaiAI 5226 MED-BOMSeptember 18, 2019Back on March 9, 2019 as AI 144 BOM-DEL
747-400VT-ESOOperational MumbaiAI 966 HYD-BOMMay 28, 2019AI 1
747-400VT-EVAGroundedMumbaiAI 191 DEL-BOMMay 13, 2019
747-400VT-EVBOperational MumbaiAI 966 HYD-BOMJanuary 29, 2019Back on June 24, 2019 as AI 144 BOM-DEL
777-300ERVT-ALOGroundedMumbaiBOM-BOMAugust 9, 2018
777-300ERVT-ALUOperationalNagpurAI 1469 DEL-NAGSeptember 22, 2018Back on June 6, 2019 as AI 144 BOM-DEL
787-8VT-ANBOperationalMumbaiAI 349 DEL-BOMJanuary 7, 2019Back on May 24, 2019 as AI 31 BOM-AMD
787-8VT-ANGOperationalMumbaiAI 331 BKK-BOMApril 7, 2018Back on May 22, 2019 as AI 31 BOM-AMD
787-8VT-ANJGroundedMumbaiAI 865 DEL-BOMOctober 9, 2018
787-8VT-ANKOperationalMumbaiAI 331 BKK-BOMJuly 8, 2018Back on April 6, 2019 AI 330 BOM-BKK
787-8VT-ANMGroundedMumbaiAI 863 DEL-BOMJanuary 2, 2019
787-8VT-ANNOperationalMumbaiAI 349 DEL-BOMFebruary 25, 2019Back on April 13, 2019 AI 310 BOM-DEL
787-8VT-ANOOperationalMumbaiAI 315 DEL-BOMApril 28, 2019Back on July 12, 2019 AI 687 BOM-DEL
787-8VT-ANUOperationalDelhiAI 121 DEL-FRA Suffered mid-air decompression.March 6, 2019Back on May 31, 2019 as AI 20 DEL-CCU.

It is also reported that Air India will also start Mumbai-Hong Kong route this winter.

Are you excited for Air India’s new flights to Toronto, Nairobi and Bali?


  1. BOM-NBO is always full on both KQ flights.
    A gateway to East Africa, AI should make code sharing with KQ for connections beyond NBO. After ET, KQ is other airline eith good connections across Africa.

    Back in those days of 9W, I had enjoyed earning tons of jpmiles flying on KQ.

  2. BOM-FRA-BOM is actually 4x weekly last I checked.

    NBO repetitive given KQ already does this. Would have been nicer to see BOM-JNB—a larger as well as higher yielding market, completely unserved!

    DPS is considerably further away from India than SIN. Bali is actually closer to East Coast Australia, so you see the B737 operating MEL-DPS-MEL for example. Makes the economics more challenging. Perhaps the MAA stop will enable narrowbody use.

    BTW Bali is a HUGE market from India nowadays. People may think that Garuda stopped their BOM flight because of small market size, but the actual reason (from Bahasa Indonesia-language media) was that the service was contingent on a subsidy, which never materialised.

    Challenges for any airline attempting India-Bali:

    –longer distance as compared to Singapore/Malaysia/Thailand
    –Leisure driven market with lack of business class passengers

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