For the past few weeks, Air India has been adding a lot of international flights. They opened up bookings for three times a week non-stop Delhi – Toronto flights. Air India also added flights to Dubai from Kolkata and Indore. Also on the anvil are non-stop flights from Mumbai to Nairobi and Delhi to Chennai to Bali routes.
Back in the day, Air India operated a range of fifth freedom flights. Last year, Air India discontinued its London Heathrow – Newark, fifth freedom flight and added a Bengaluru – London Heathrow flights instead. As of now, Air India operates just two fifth freedom flights, four times a week flight on Mumbai – Delhi – Hong Kong – Seoul route and three times a week flights on Mumbai – Delhi – Hong Kong – Osaka route with a Boeing 787-8.
Air India will be discontinuing both fifth freedom flights from Septemeber 17, 2019. Instead, Air India will operate 4x weekly nonstop flights on the Delhi – Seoul route from September 18, 2019. The flights will be operated with a Boeing 787-8 with the following schedule,
AI312 DEL0020 – 0950ICN 788 x357
AI313 ICN1205 – 1635DEL 788 x357
Air India’s 787-8 have 18 lie-flat business class seats and 238 economy class seats. Air India is offering INR 41k roundtrip economy fares on the Delhi – Seoul route. A roundtrip business class ticket starts at INR 110k on this route.
Asiana Airlines which operates 5x weekly A330-300 flights on Delhi-Seoul route will be discontinuing flights from July 2019. This is the second instance where Air India will pick up a route which is being discontinued by a Star Alliance member. Meanwhile, Air India will shift the departure of its Hong Kong-Delhi flight to a morning departure from September 18, 2019. The schedule for the flight is,
AI314 DEL2305 – 0650(+1 day)HKG 788 135
AI310 DEL2305 – 0650(+1 day)HKG 788 x135
AI315 HKG0805 – 1130DEL 788 246
AI317 HKG0805 – 1130DEL 788 x246
It was rumoured that Air India would be adding a daily non-stop flight on Mumbai – Hong Kong route. From September 19, 2019, Air India will add daily non-stop flights on Mumbai – Hong Kong route. The flights will be operated with a 787-8 with the following schedule,
AI316 BOM0835 – 1650HKG 788 D
AI311 HKG1805 – 2155BOM 788 D
Air India is offering INR 40k economy roundtrip fares on Mumbai-Hong Kong route. A roundtrip business class ticket starts at INR 94k on this route.
Air India will start 4x weekly non-stop flights on Delhi – Seoul route as well as daily non-stop flights on Mumbai-Hong Kong route with a Boeing 787-8. Meanwhile, Air India will no longer operate fifth freedom flights as it discontinues both its fifth freedom flights to Osaka and Seoul from Hong Kong. It does have a couple of 787-8 grounded for a few months, which will be used for this expansion.