Air India to launch a new flight to Copenhagen on a 787

Last night, I wrote about the upcoming flight of Air India from Delhi to Washington DC which will be launched in 2017. The airline has been on an expansion spree over the past two years, launching and increasing frequencies on a number of routes.

In 2015, Air India launched a long flight to San Francisco from Delhi, 3x every week. They recently doubled the flight to 6 times a week given the good response they received to that flight. They started a fifth freedom flight between London and Newark, by launching an Ahmedabad – London – Newark flight. They launched flights to Madrid as well in December 2016 and took over the Delhi – Vienna flights from Austrian.

Last year, in a commentary about Air India’s international plans, I had also mentioned the possibility of a flight being launched from Delhi to the Nordics. The toss-up was between going to Denmark or Sweden. It seems the jury is out.

Air India yesterday announced they will be starting a flight to Copenhagen in May 2017. The flight will be on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, shortly after the airline receives a new one in the coming months.

Air India already operates flights to Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Rome, Milan and Vienna in Europe, a lot of them with Boeing 787-8, which allows for economics to work on long and thin routes.

a white airplane on the runway

I’m impressed with the flurry of flights Air India is launching. However, I’m also keen to see how are they performing on the existing routes, since I’ve never taken an international Air India 787 flight in my life, and I’m not sure if the planes are full or empty.

What do you make of this new move to launch flights by Air India, a member of the Star Alliance network?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Does anyone know whether this flight, DEL-CPH, is still on? No word since the January tweet. Yet IAD and TLV seem ready to go.

  2. Ajay – If I am not wrong, I believe they also fly to Paris, Birmingham and Moscow in Europe.

    While my patriotic side feels great that India is being connected with more direct points, my practical side will never let me return to AI. The product is way too underwhelming and IFE is as good as not being there. Without either WiFi or good entertainment system, I can’t imagine myself in an AI aircraft for an 8 hour flight to Europe let alone San Francisco (where I travel to most frequently). Till then.. Jet, ME3, SIA and CX get my revenue.
    Hopefully, in future I will be as excited to fly AI as I am flying with EY.

    Keep up the great work Ajay and team!

    • It’s not particularly bad ,although not in the league of Cathay,SIA. I have had suckier service on European carriers . Talking about ife ,KE IFE is much worse than AI.

      So I Guess it’s a decent service, often plane is spoiled by people taking it. The crew is smaller which makes them work round the clock.

      Not sure why AI gets so much negative press . It’s not bad as you read the reports. But yeah they should get the wifi streaming service sorted for which I hear they called out “tenders” hahah.

      I ll definitely fly AI If I get a good deal.

      FYI I fly JFK DEL ,SIN DEL.

      • That’s great to read Sean. I agree, European carriers can be total downers too. But I wish I was as lucky as you with my AI experiences. I don’t judge a product solely by its reviews, but my experiences haven’t been any better.
        I probably don’t expect AI to reach Singapore’s league. I love to fly in Jet, because I have had a good time and they certainly are not close to Singapore either.

        Another contradictory experience is that I have had great people around me but the product was disappointing and some crew members too. I am just spoilt with good IFE in other cabins!

        Hope to get a similar experience as yours with AI!

  3. I have taken 3 international flights on the 787, Economy to Hong Kong and Shanghai and Business Class to Bangkok. All the flights were full, however service can be inconsistent. I guess it depends on how motivated the particular set of flight crew is. I have gone from Leather bound menus on the outbound on Delhi Bangkok to no menus on the inbound flight. Requests for water in Economy ignored for the entire 6 hour flight on Delhi- Shanghai.

  4. Grrr – another DEL endeavor! (SK used to fly this route long ago and we used to transit through DEL for it. However, AI’s product is not worth doing that…)

    This would have been perfect for us ex-BOM.

    Oh well, we have LH, LX and soon Brussels Airlines to route us to DK…

    The slot shortage ex-BOM really hits hard, but would prefer that

    • They are concentrating on DEL as their international hub, so that is expected. Not to mention the local market for DEL-Scandinavia is much larger than BOM-Scandinavia.

      I believe they are trying, but having trouble, getting slots for BOM-HKG.
      BOM-FRA is also been mentioned here and there. A daytime departure from BOM could complement the nighttime LH departure.
      For any African routes BOM would probably be in the driver’s seat.

  5. Air India is a great service airline now. I had never flown airindia in the last 40 years but last year i started traveling airindia again after the demise of Ncp and the gang.I am truly impressed. i am traveling again next week on airindia to birmingham uk.

    thanks ajay. sanjiv

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