Air India broadens its international footprint by launching 20 flights to US and UK

Air India will launch 20 additional flights to Birmingham, London and San Francisco to broaden its international footprint, according to a statement released on September 30.

This step is a part of the airline’s endeavour to regain its position as the leading airline on the international aviation map. These additional flights will be introduced in phases from October to December.

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With five additional flights a week to Birmingham, nine to London and six to San Francisco a week, Air India will be able to offer over 5,000 additional seats every week to customers and ensure ample choice in terms of connectivity, convenience, and cabin space.

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The new flight schedule of Air India

The current schedule of Air India standing at 34 flights per week to the UK will now be bumped up to 48 flights. There will also be five extra flights to Birmingham out of which 3 will be from Delhi and 2 from Amritsar.

London will receive 9 additional flights per week, out of which 5 will be flying from Mumbai, three from Delhi and 1 from Ahmedabad. Seven Indian cities will have non-stop Air India flights heading to the UK capital after the new flights are introduced.

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Air India flights to the US will rise from 34 to 40 per week. Mumbai will now be connected to San Francisco by the airline three times a week, and reinstate a three-times-weekly Bengaluru operation. This takes the number of flights to San Francisco up to 16, from 10 per week with a non-stop service from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Air India to launch 20 flights to the US & UK to broaden its international footprint

In terms of capacity, the enhanced network to the United Kingdom and the US will lead Air India to offer 5,000 additional weekly seats from India to the two countries. Additionally, the improved connectivity translates into more convenience for the carrier’s passengers.

“As Air India reinvents itself under the Vihaan.AI transformation programme, adding frequency and improving connectivity from major Indian cities to more international destinations is a significant focus. This sizeable frequency increase to the US and the UK, as well as the addition of new city pairs and improved aircraft cabin interiors, comes just 10 months after Air India’s acquisition by the Tata Group. It is a clear signal of our intent, and an early step towards a much bigger aspiration.”

Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD of Air India

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India’s national carrier is experiencing a breakthrough in its history. Indeed, the carrier’s new management has designed a transformational roadmap, called Vihaan.AI, whose primary goal is to reinvent the airline and bring it back as a world-class global player in the airline industry.

Air India signed leases and letters of intent (LOI) for 25 narrowbodies and five widebodies, increasing the carrier’s fleet by 25%

Apart from these additional aircraft, Air India has been working to restore the existing narrow-body and wide-body aircraft to the operating fleet. Before the expansion described above, the airline enabled frequency increases between Delhi and Vancouver as well as the addition of numerous domestic services.

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On September 12, the airline announced leasing 30 aircraft. The airline signed leases and letters of intent (LOI) for 25 narrowbodies and five widebodies, increasing the carrier’s fleet by 25%. Additionally, Air India has recently reintroduced 16 long-grounded aircraft, ten narrowbodies, and six widebodies.

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Air India will offer a premium economy cabin on long-haul flights for the first time in its history.

The five leased Boeing 777-200LRs have been a fundamental acquisition for Air India’s fleet, without whom the network expansion to the US and the UK would not have been possible. The leased widebodies bring about a significant change in Air India’s customer proposition: Air India will offer a premium economy cabin on long-haul flights for the first time in its history.

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Air India currently owns a fleet of 70 narrowbodies, of which 54 are in service; the remaining 16 aircraft will progressively return to service by the early months of 2023. The carrier’s widebody fleet counts 43 aircraft, of which 33 are operating; similarly to the narrowbody fleet, the grounded widebodies will return to service early next year.