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Air India To Increase London Service  
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5851 times:

Air India will add their 13th weekly service between India and the UK from December 4, when they introduce a terminator service between Mumbai and London via Delhi. Flights will be operated by Boeing 747-400 aircraft.

AI 121/120 (ops Sat)

BOM d 0845
DEL a 1035 d 1155
LHR a 1605 d 1830
DEL a 0815+1 d 0930+1
BOM a 1125+1

Air India already serves London 5x weekly nonstop from Delhi, 5x weekly nonstop from Mumbai and 2x weekly nonstop from Ahmedabad. The airline also provides daily service to New York JFK, 3x weekly service to Chicago O'Hare and codeshare with Virgin Atlantic on 3x weekly services to Delhi.

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5769 times:

How did they manage to get the slots at Heathrow? In any case, it looks like another "irregular" slot for AI.

Think they should threaten BA and VS with irregular slots at BOM and DEL? It'll prolly be disastrous but fun anyway to give BA a different slot time each night at each of the airports!


User currently offlineFlyguy1 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1738 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5755 times:

Any chance AI would ever add more flights at JFK? It would seem a second daily servie at least during the peak season would be viable.


727, L1011, MD80, A300, 777-200, 737-300, 737-700, 747-400, 757-200, 737-800, A320. E190, E135, 767-200, CRJ9
User currently offlineThunderbird1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5755 times:

Does AI have any plans for expansion to/from CCU? It seems like the LHR/CCU sector would do well, though BA has it covered part of the week.

User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5750 times:

How does this move by Air India affect the flights that are flown by Virgin Atlantic? Arent the 3 weekly Virgin flights to India operated on authority "borrowed" from Air India/

User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5719 times:

Thunderbird, I think Sean did say before in another thread that AI had tried and failed a number of times with Calcutta. I guess East India's just not worth it, at least for now.

User currently offlineScottysAir From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5666 times:

Is that already increase with LHR flights and how is load factor are doing? Can you please comfirmed with their flight is doing.

User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5655 times:

AI's 13 flights plus the three frequencies used by VS makes 16. BA operates 19 frequencies per week (BOM and DEL daily, CCU 3x weekly and MAA 2x weekly). So in theory AI has another three frequencies that it can use itself or pass onto VS. Or have I missed something?


Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5635 times:

How did they manage to get the slots at Heathrow?

Begging, bribery, threats, coercion, human sacrifice... the usual story.

Any chance AI would ever add more flights at JFK?

Not in the near future.

Does AI have any plans for expansion to/from CCU?

No. All major expansion in the immediate future will be from Southern India, possibly with a few Northern ones (Lucknow, Amritsar) though.

How does this move by Air India affect the flights that are flown by Virgin Atlantic? Arent the 3 weekly Virgin flights to India operated on authority "borrowed" from Air India/

They are not affected... yet. This makes 16 utilized frequencies on the Indian side, still 1 weekly frequency under the permitted 17 weekly.

So in theory AI has another three frequencies that it can use itself or pass onto VS. Or have I missed something?

Bilateral allows 17x weekly services, plus additional services which can only be used to Kolkota (as per some side-agreement with the Government of West Bengal - no clue why that came about). I believe that there is a similar one in place if BA wanted to start Heathrow - Guwahati, but somehow I don't see that happening! Big grin


User currently offlineDulleswatcher From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5601 times:

Purely for speculation, Sean, can you guess at how many frequencies BA and VS would have into all ports in India and how many AI would have into all ports in the UK if there were Open Skies? Strikes me that so many pax go thru Dubai, KWI, Bahrain, CDG, AB) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA, etc to get from India to UK and vv that the 17/19 per week in each direction seems ludicrously low. Another great accomplishment by the idiot babus? thx.


Sic Semper Tyrannis
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5540 times:

the 17/19 per week in each direction seems ludicrously low. Another great accomplishment by the idiot babus

This is one situation where I think the impasse isn't entirely the Babus fault. As we have discussed many times before, any "open skies" or similar agreement must be based upon principles of reciprocal access. As long as the UK airports remain severely capacity constrained and dominated by British carriers, there will always be an imbalance in their favor in any unregulated situation.

It is also really hard to judge what kind of capacity the market can bear as long as the artificial controls are in place. Undoubtedly, there are many secondary markets in India that would be able to support nonstops to London, but not with the guage that the market is currently utilizing (virtually entirely 744s). Would the scarce airport slots be optimally utilized by serving those destinations and if so, what kind of premium must the yield command to make it viable. Would there be a downgrade of existing guage to reduce actual capacity and boost yields. And most importantly would there be just another artificial ceiling imposed as a result of that hypothetical, thus simply skewing the marketshare towards the British carriers without any real consumer benefits through net capacity growth. Lots of questions there beyond a simple supply-and-demand curve.


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5501 times:


I believe that there is a similar one in place if BA wanted to start Heathrow - Guwahati, but somehow I don't see that happening!

Dont be too sure! I believe that agreement (covering building up Guwahati as an international gateway to the NE also provides incentives like zero taxes and stuff which could help the airline provide dirt cheap tickets. Mebbe BA could make a killing here!

-Roy


User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1516 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 5472 times:

Dont be too sure! I believe that agreement (covering building up Guwahati as an international gateway to the NE also provides incentives like zero taxes and stuff which could help the airline provide dirt cheap tickets. Mebbe BA could make a killing here!

Only if they make it a double daily with B744s and extend them to Silchar, Dibrugarh and Imphal. Wink/being sarcastic

rgds//Vimanav



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5378 times:

Although CCU is not in consideration, and has done bad in the past, as said, I believe that a relaunch would do well.. AI could really do well on that route.. so many Bengali bhaiis allover here, one of them my housemate, who always point out that Bengal is discriminated by the center  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5364 times:

Roy... Have you ever bee to the North-East? It'll be a snowy day in Bombay before anyone can make money flying long haul out of there! Cheers, Jason

User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5332 times:


Have you ever bee to the North-East?

spent a fabulous holiday in Shillong actually! but thats beside the point!

CCU catchment area includes the entire eastern area and if if ex-GAU is cheaper than ex-CCU, then it could well be viable.

In any case people in Eastern part of India seem to be very pro-BA. Atleat thats the impression u get when you talk to some Bongs.

-Roy


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5229 times:

who always point out that Bengal is discriminated by the center

Well, if they stopped electing commies to power maybe that wouldn't happen so much! Still, Bengal has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years and I wouldn't be surprised to see Kolkota receive a bit of a belated urban economic boost soon. There is no reason that a city that size with a huge resource of educated people should be wallowing so badly while Bangalore and Hyderabad and other smaller cities race ahead.

It'll be a snowy day in Bombay before anyone can make money flying long haul out of there!

I should clarify that I was being facetious about Guwahati-Heathrow nonstops, although Roy seems to be taking it seriously (why am I not surprised? Big grin).

Considering that Guwahati couldn't even support itself one weekly Airbus to Bangkok, nonstops to Heathrow seem a bit far fetched. Remember, the only reason that AI started GAU flying in the first place was the relationship between AI's then-CEO the late J.N. Gogoi and Assam's chief minister Tarun Gogoi. Thankfully SARS put a kebosh on that experiment before too long.


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5192 times:


Considering that Guwahati couldn't even support itself one weekly Airbus to Bangkok, nonstops to Heathrow seem a bit far fetched.

With AI doing the marketing you surely cant expect any better?

AI can only sell tickets when the capacity is less than the demand. Hence the desire to keep capacity low. Even if that means artifically constricting growth becuase AI cant keep up.

Wherever the passenger has an option, AI automatically becomes the 2nd or last choice. And that in itself says a lot. Remember I am talking of the passenger who has to pay for the ticket.

-Roy


User currently offlineJasepl From India, joined Jul 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 39
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5146 times:

Wherever the passenger has an option, AI automatically becomes the 2nd or last choice. And that in itself says a lot. Remember I am talking of the passenger who has to pay for the ticket.

Roy, I must disagree with you on this one. There are, in fact, a lot of passengers - I'm one myself - who do pick AI over all other carriers. Whatever their reasons are, I'm sure AI's usually brilliant service has a lot to do with it. Sure the cabin might look like a geriatric ward at times with the near-expiration old dears working, but they do a great job.

I must add though, that this preference for AI, in my experience, is for the European and American routes only. Regional flying on AI is a nightmare at best, what with the frequent and bizarre stops along the way. I still maintain going from Bombay to Singapore via Delhi is seriously effed up and whoever's responsible for routing at AI needs to put their crack pipe away! No passenger in their right mind would choose to be holed up in a 310 for upto 11 hours (keep the wonderful DEL delays in mind) for a flight that should take at most 5! And then end up arriving at some unearthly hour...

So, whilst I'm certain that a lot of pax do actually choose AI over other carriers for the Westbound routes for actual service reasons, those that end up on AI for regional flying are usually doing so because they either couldn't get anything else, or because they're more comfortable with something familiar, or simply because they couldn't resist the two-for-one dealies and yeilded without a fight!


User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1516 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5089 times:

It will be some time before CCU can really catch up with the rest of India considering the head start that cities like HYD, BLR, COK and even AMD and CCJ have got. Even though the Commies in the state are beginning to act less like themselves and more like capitalists (remember Chandan Basu - the industrialist son of India's commie number one?), nobody's in a tearing hurry to come back to CCU.

BA does well because of Bengal's historic connection with the Raj and to a great extent the sentimentality of Calcuttans for whom the carrier will forever remain BOAC. CCU is also an important base for a large number of business houses viz. Birlas, Tatas, Goenkas, Mittals and various others. Most of them by design or default opt for BA. A rather strange statistic is that the ratio of premium traffic to back of the bus is highest in CCU for BA than at any of their other gateways in India.

But really speaking with growth rates under 8% Eastern India has a long way to go before airlines consider them for truly long haul services.

rgds//Vimanav



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineDulleswatcher From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5074 times:

Sean, I take your point about reciprocity, but I am beginning to believe it is a crutch used by the governments involved. After all, Emirates has seven dailies to Dubai from LHR, and they have neither a fifty year history nor a wealth of unexploited route authorities. They just depend on the free market. It's a shame that so many Indians use third carriers just to get where they need to because the UK/India bilat is limited so severely. Imagine what aviation free of absurd government inability (on both sides) to reach reasonable accommodations. Here's to the courage one day to sign Open Skies with each other. In fact, I hope the US and India sign Open Skies sooner. best, ak


Sic Semper Tyrannis
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4991 times:

"A rather strange statistic is that the ratio of premium traffic to back of the bus is highest in CCU for BA than at any of their other gateways in India."

Thats interesting.
On every BA flight to Mumbai I've been on in the past 2 years (thats 5 flights now) First and ClubWorld are always full. The last two flights on BA were on 744s with the expanded ClubWorld cabin. As a matter of fact, even WTPlus was full, but WT wasn't. I was very surprised to see how extensively BA tap the premium Indian market.


User currently offlineThunderbird1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 225 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4940 times:

I think AI returning to CCU would get a favorable response. SIA and Thai, for example, have done very well serving CCU from Asia.

The reason that Bengalis favor BA is because they're the only airline that has faithfully served CCU all these years. I think it's pathetic that the national flag carrier (AI) doesn't serve the 2nd largest city in India better. Kolkata Airport is fine (esp the domestic terminal).


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4929 times:


No passenger in their right mind would choose to be holed up in a 310 for upto 11 hours (keep the wonderful DEL delays in mind) for a flight that should take at most 5! And then end up arriving at some unearthly hour...

Absolutely! Most people (my folks included) opt for AI mostly becuase they are unaware of the options available. A few years back AI would have been the first choice fo rme as well. But no longer.

After trying out airlines like EK and SQ and the phenomenal inflight product they offer, i wonder why the Indian passenger has to endure the pathetic inflight products offered by AI. Look at EK: a choice of 3 flight options at convenient times (convenient to the passenger not to the crew), superb cabin facilities with PTV's even in eco! As for food service, EK is superb even in this area, though there seem to be some problems with consisitency. Pitch seems a little tight (atleast in the rear of their airbus) but again its not bad. AND u cant beat their fares! My mom, for one, was maha impressed by EK.

I would have an option of trying out SQ next month. Again I could have chosen AI, but why endure an AI flight (on an antique A310 wioth an obsolete inflight product) when SQ goes non-stop in half the time with a much superior product on a 777-300. All this for just S$250 more? So why not? What does AI offer to the pax anymore?

Patriotism is not an option that they can fall back on! After all EK is virtually an Indian airline, considering the number of Indians who work there! On m,y last trip i dont think I interacted with a single non-indian/south asian staff!

-Roy


User currently offlineBoysteve From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 940 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4879 times:

Forget about LHR, why don't Air India serve MAN. Afterall, PIA have just added more flights making it 17 per week from MAN to various destinations in Pakistan.

25 Vimanav : The reason that Bengalis favor BA is because they're the only airline that has faithfully served CCU all these years. BA returned to CCU after a long
26 Mrniji : I would not be surprised if LH enters CCU, maybe in the frame of a MoU with AI, in the next 2-3 years. The entire strategy of LH is fitted for the Ind
27 Vimanav : Mrniji I doubt LH will ever enter the CCU market. They closed down their offline office in CCU two years ago and has not even deemed it important enou
28 Jasepl : Emirates has seven dailies to Dubai from LHR, and they have neither a fifty year history nor a wealth of unexploited route authorities Exactly. Lots o
29 Lxsaab2000 : Any possibilities to (re)see AI in Rome? Now there aren't any direct links from the italian capital to India. It's strange to see that from Rome you c
30 Mrniji : . LH will probably end up getting much more out of it than AI ever will. I am not that sure. When AI manages to make FRA a nice hub and maybe join Sta
31 Jasepl : Mrjiji, the Indian community is Germany seems to be spread out all over the place. They can't fly on AI from Munich or Stuttgart or wherever. They're
32 B747-437B : Lots of airlines, BA included, have been buying slots at LHR when they can't just get them. That does not change the fact that transfer of slots at He
33 Mrniji : Sean, are there any news about possible operations from India(BLR?)-Fra- to SFO or YYZ (or others)? I know that the LAX expansion will take off first,
34 B747-437B : are there any news about possible operations from India(BLR?)-Fra- to SFO or YYZ We'll know by the end of August whether flights to YYZ are a go or no
35 Donder10 : Exactly. Lots of airlines, BA included, have been buying slots at LHR when they can't just get them. AI wait and wait and then end up getting more irr
36 Thunderbird1 : Get real. Kolkota may be the 2nd largest city in India by population but in terms of an air travel market it is way down the list. In fact, it has now
37 Vimanav : How are you measuring rankings here? Are you listing actual/projected market size or actual passenger loads at each of these cities? My sense with Kol
38 Thunderbird1 : The data is from the AAI. You can see that CCU is at no. 8 in terms of international passenger movements in India and no. 5 in terms of airplane movem
39 Post contains images Vimanav : I don't know whose fault CCU's stagnation is, but there certainly are lots of reasons why the region should have an economic uplift. It's ripe for gro
40 Thunderbird1 : Bengalis in Bengal and Keralites in Kerala are the laziest in the human race. They'd much rather sit around and talk endlessly ("adda baaji") rather t
41 B747-437B : Though I do not know the critiera that Sean has used, its accurate. The data is from the AAI. Exactly my source. The AAI May 2004 traffic numbers that
42 Post contains images Indianguy : Bengalis in Bengal and Keralites in Kerala are the laziest in the human race. They'd much rather sit around and talk endlessly ("adda baaji") rather
43 Vimanav : Hard Work and intelligence obviously had nothing to do with it! Just what percentage of AI’s pax are Keralites? Anyway, I don’t see how this fits
44 Post contains images Rmenon : I had expressly stated that it is the Bongs in Bengal and the Mallus in Kerala who are the laziest of the human race. Put them outside the state and t
45 Jasepl : I was about to get offended by your earlier post Remember the rule: If you are one, or are married to one, its fair game!
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