Air India set to commence second non-stop flight from Mumbai to Heathrow

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Published on Jan 08, 2020 06:22 PM IST
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By Neha LM Tripathi, Mumbai

Travelers from Mumbai will now get a second option to fly non-stop to London’s Heathrow airport via an Indian airline. Air India (AI) announced that it will start another non-stop flight to London from Mumbai.

This will be the first new operation on the route since Jet Airways, which used to operate flights to Heathrow, shut down services in April. The route was Jet Airway’s most popular one, with a good load factor. As per the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA- India), a Sydney-based aviation consultant, Jet Airways’ closure led to vacant flying slots in Mumbai, especially for international travel.

After getting slots at Heathrow airport, the national carrier, Air India, will operate flights on this route thrice a week, beginning on February 14. Airline sources said the carrier has been successful in acquiring slots at Heathrow for the winter schedule that ends on March 28 and will be extending operations as per the new summer schedule.

AI has recently announced plans to start flights to London’s Stansted airport as well.

A senior Mumbai airport official said, “The national carrier was keen to commence operations on this route for a long time but unavailability of slots made it difficult. The airline is set to commence its operations to London’s Stansted from February 20.” The flight to Stansted will operate on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

An airline official said AI will deploy its Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) aircraft for this sector. “The flight will be the country’s second non-stop flight to Stansted after Air India commenced Amritsar-Stansted operations in October 2019 due to slot issues at Heathrow.”

The airline is also starting non-stop Mumbai-Doha flights from February 20, three times a week (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday).

The national carrier has commenced 12 new international flights in this financial year 2019-20. These include; Delhi-Toronto, Mumbai-Stansted, Amritsar-Stansted, Mumbai-Heathrow, Mumbai-Doha, Delhi-Doha, Mumbai-Nairobi, Indore-Dubai, Kolkata-Dubai, Mumbai-Dubai, Delhi-Dubai and Mumbai-Kuwait.

It has also planned to increase the frequency of its recently-added Delhi- Toronto flights from thrice a week to daily departures.

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