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 flight. They 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, 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.
Now, it seems some of those questions are going to be answered about the 777 and the 787 allocations.
Air India launching Mumbai to New York JFK flights this winter
Air India will start flight services to New York from Mumbai from the winter schedule this year. Air India already flies to Newark from Mumbai and JFK from Delhi. This flight is expected to be launched in October 2018, when the winter schedule comes up. The new flight will be a three times a week service, operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. While the timings of the flight are still unknown, that should be out soon as well.
This is interesting because if I am reading this correct, that means the plan to go to Los Angeles have been shelved at the moment and that plane has been allocated to fly this route. Currently, to fly BOM-JFK, one has to make a halt in Delhi which adds to the duration of the flights.
This means capacity addition between USA India will be massive over the coming months, given Delta has planned to launch either from ATL or JFK to BOM as well. This move could well be the deciding factor, and in the case of Air India be a pre-emptive move to keep Delta off their turf.
Air India resuming Mumbai to Frankfurt flights too
Another interesting move is Air India putting into action their plan to fly between Mumbai and Frankfurt after eight years using their 787. We broke this story in May, but now for the first time, I see it actioned.
The Mumbai-Frankfurt flight will be four-times-a-week service and will be operated by Air India’s Boeing 787-8s. Again, we don’t know more about this flight yet, including the schedule, but from here it could be loaded on the systems pretty quickly. Ideally, the BOM-FRA should connect to Lufthansa’s North American departure bank, which could mean a late night flight from Mumbai and a morning turnaround from Frankfurt. Air India already operates on the Delhi – Frankfurt route.
This is excellent news for Star Alliance fliers overall. Air India has a full-scale network flying into Europe and North America on the West, which makes it possible for other Star Alliance hub carriers to give them connecting traffic as well.
Are you excited about these new Air India Flights? I sure am and I think I will try them out at least once more to fly to the USA now.