Air India has expanded big time in Europe after taking deliveries of their Boeing 787s. They currently fly to 10 destinations in Europe, the most by an Indian airline. They have added some exciting destinations like Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Vienna to name a few. Their expansion has been out of Delhi for many years, and after fortifying their hub, they are now focussing on Mumbai. A year and a half after teasing the relaunch of Mumbai Frankfurt flights, Air India has finally added the flight to GDS and started accepting bookings for the flight.
Air India used to operate a daily flight on the Mumbai – Frankfurt with a 3-class Boeing 777-300ER as a part of their European hub and spoke strategy. Now, they are launching four times weekly flights on this route, to be operated with a 2-class Boeing 787-8. First flight on the route will take off on October 16, 2018. We have reviewed Air India’s business class on Boeing 787-8 in the past.
From October 16 to 28, the flight will depart at 8:50 am out of Mumbai due to summer timings. From October 28 onwards, it will switch departure to 10 AM. Here are the schedules for this flight.
AI 125 BOM 10:00 – 14:00 FRA 2357
AI 124 FRA 15:45 – 04:15+1 BOM 2357
The flight will have a morning departure out of Mumbai on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, arriving in Frankfurt in the afternoon. This seems to be a shift from their current flights to Europe from Delhi which have an afternoon departure and an evening arrival. Fares start at INR 43K for Economy class and INR 1.4 lakhs for Business class.
This route seems to target the O&D market, considering the timings don’t align with Lufthansa’s afternoon bank of USA departures (they are Star Alliance partners) or for business travelers. Even as a tourist I would think twice before wasting an entire day in traveling when there is a better airline on the same route with comparable fares offering a better package and is more Indian than you think.
Air India has also announced that they will start flying to JFK from Mumbai 3 times weekly this winter and they do want to connect Nairobi from Mumbai and Los Angeles from Delhi. Let’s see when these routes will see the light of
Air India may have added one more feather to their ‘crown’ but the timings are pretty inconvenient, and Lufthansa overtakes them on this route in pretty much everything whether it’s flight timing, aircraft deployment (you get to fly Queen of the Skies), paxex or connections.
What do you think about the new flights launched by Air India? Too little too late for Mumbai?