Reeling under crippling finances and a global aviation meltdown, government-run Air India is now planning to take several international cities off its network for want of passengers. The airline is planning to prune some of the “not-so-viable” routes like Osaka and Seoul. It might also take out its existing New York leg from the existing Delhi-London-New York flight.
Airline officials who did not want to be quoted said Air India is likely to reduce the number flights to Los Angeles also.
In a recent meeting, chairman and managing director Raghu Menon and the top management have discussed the broad contours of a comprehensive “route rationalisation” to maximise yields for the carrier.
The new schedule would be announced next month.
According to an industry source, Air India is confronting extremely poor passenger load in the once popular Delhi-London-New York flight. The Boeing 777 flight with a capacity of 238 seats was reportedly carrying only between 55 and 60 passengers on any given day during the last one week.
It is likely that Air India may terminate its Delhi-London-New York flight in London and utilise the aircraft for a different sector other than the US. “Air India has been registering low passenger load on the Mumbai and Delhi to New York sector,” the official said. “This is also because the airline also offers a non-stop service on the same sector.”