UK-India expected to sign new ASA to add extra flights

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  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    It’s reported that there is likely to be a new UK-India ASA (air services agreement) which would allow more flights from Mumbai and Delhi into LHR (London Heathrow).

    Of course gaining slots at LHR is tricky and can be costly. Developments are awaited.

    [paywall]

    https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/india-uk-to-sign-new-air-service-agreement-increasing-flights-from-london-heathrow-airport/articleshow/104894636.cms?from=mdr


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    I read that they’re pushing for it to go from 56 to 70? So, just 14 additional flights across 4-5 competing airlines??


    LetsFlyNow
    Participant

    But where will the additional slots come from? While i can see BA reducing flights to some destinations to maybe add 3 frequencies it remains to be seen where AI or Vistara will get slots from.


    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    On the basis that Air India & Vistara are now really one-and-the-same (in terms of ownership), and the latter is set to disappear as a brand anyway, I’m not sure how the extra allocation would be divided.

    Plus, as you say @LetsFlyNow, there aren’t exactly lots of available slots hanging around doing nothing at Heathrow (and possibly DEL / BOM too).

    With so many indirect options as well, including fantastic regional departures, is there actually the demand for 14 new direct flights?


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    “With so many indirect options as well, including fantastic regional departures, is there actually the demand for 14 new direct flights?” – Given the population of the country is 1B+, there will always be direct demand for nonstop flights to EU and the US. I don’t think Vistara has enough long bodies so it’ll be AI. They may add a 3rd to DEL and remainder goes to BOM.


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    In hindsight, VS may also add a 2nd daily to BOM at more USA connection friendly times (provided there’s slot availability)


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    And there’s an A350 for AI coming in Dec! Could LHR be its maiden stop?!

    Air India prepares to induct the first A350-900 by December 2023


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    Although airlines knows better what to do, but I think AI will deploy their A350-900 to longer haul routes like USA due to range and fuel efficiency.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Times of India reported October 7 that the new A350-900 would be used on domestic routes for some months before being rostered for N American services,

    Using a long-range aircraft for shorter routes makes sense, look at how and where LH deployed its initial 787s, for crew training purposes and to keep a new aircraft type closer to its home base.

    Things in aviation can change and so its first long-haul route(s) could be Europe or N America.

    I say that because reliability is essential for really long-haul flying and because Air India overflies Russia passengers wouldn’t want to see their flight having to make an unscheduled stop in a remote area.

    That was what happened to Air India’s B777 DEL-SFO flight last June when the flight had to divert to Magadan in Russia’s Far East.

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