Air India restarts second daily Delhi–London service

5 Nov 2012

Air India is restoring its second daily service between Delhi and London from November 25 as the delivery of its Dreamliner aircraft enables it to launch more flights.

The airline cancelled the second daily service in February as part of a pruning of long-haul flights that also saw it cut frequencies to Frankfurt and Toronto, reassigning these aircraft to Middle Eastern routes.

At the time, the Times Of India reported that the airline was reducing these routes’ frequencies because their high fuel costs and lower demand made them less profitable, and because delays to its Dreamliner deliveries meant it did not have the option of deploying more economical aircraft.

“With its 250 seats, the Dreamliner is the ideal size of aircraft for us. In the current season, it may not be possible to fill up an over 300 seater – that the B777 s are – to a break-even point. So the frequency of flights using this plane on sectors like Delhi–London and Delhi–Toronto is being reduced. The Dreamliner is now expected to make its debut in late summer and be used to launch flights to Australia,” a senior official told the newspaper.

Air India took delivery of its first Dreamliner in late September, and has received another three in October.

A spokesperson for the airline said that the deliveries and resulting expansion of its fleet has given it the option of launching new flights – the second London–Delhi service being one.

Flight AI115 will leave Delhi daily at 0645 and arrive into Heathrow at 1055. The return leg AI116 will leave London Heathrow at 1145 on Monday, Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays at 1145 and land in Delhi at 0135 the next day.

On Tuesdays it will leave at 1235, landing at 0225 the next day, and on Thursdays it will leave at 1305 to land at 0255 the next day. On Sundays it will leave at 1300, to land at 0250 the next day.

The service will use a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. They will join the AI111/AI112 service to mean that Air India flies twice daily between Delhi and London.

Air India may also be expecting to see a high demand on flights between Delhi and London as a result of the suspension of services from Kingfisher airlines, which also flew this route (see story here).

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Nicholas Olczak

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