India and UK sign deal to expand air connectivity between Delhi/Mumbai and London Heathrow

India and the United Kingdom have updated their air service agreement, allowing airlines from both countries to operate an additional 14 flights per week between London Heathrow (LHR) and Delhi and Mumbai airports. This is excellent news for the two British Carriers that operate flights to India.

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Expansion of Air Services Agreement between India and the UK

According to reports by The Hindu BusinessLine, India’s Civil Aviation Ministry and the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) signed a memorandum of understanding on May 1, allowing an additional 14 weekly flights between DEL/BOM and LHR.

The current MoU between India and the UK allows 56 weekly flight operations between Delhi/Mumbai Airports (in India) and London Heathrow (in the UK). Flight operations into any other airport in India or the UK are not restricted, and the kind of aircraft that can be used is also unrestricted. Activating this MoU will mean that flights between London and the two Indian metropolises will go up to 70 weekly flights. Per the DfT, the revised agreement will be activated in the winter season.

The revision benefits UK carriers, which have reached their limit of 56 flights per week. In comparison, Indian carriers (Air India and Vistara) currently operate 38 flights every week between London Heathrow (LHR) and Delhi (DEL) / Mumbai (BOM). The first airline to request these additional slots from the UK might already be in line. Virgin Atlantic has announced an additional flight between Mumbai and London Heathrow (while slots are already full).


An enhanced Air Services Agreement between India and the UK has been agreed upon as an MoU, which is expected to go live in the Winter 2024 session. The airlines from both sides (India/UK) will be able to operate 70 flights weekly between Delhi/Mumbai airport and London Heathrow when the agreement is live. While only 38 weekly flights are operated by AI and Vistara from the Indian end, the quota from the UK end is full. So this is majorly expected to benefit British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

What do you make of the enhancement of the air services agreement between India and the United Kingdom?

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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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