So whats the new cabin upgrade, and the "new image?" The masseurs from Kerala? Technical gee-gaws in the main cabin? And are they really going to fly A310s nonstop to Paris from Cochin? How bizarre. Does the A310 even have the range to fly MAA/Cochin nonstop to Paris? I guess theyre trying to preempt European charter nonstops to Goa and Kerala. And what about the Frankfurt flights?
And will they ever delink Bombay and Delhi on flights to the West?
Article below from the EConomic Times
A-I to get more planes for more flights to US
PTI [ WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 2002 3:36:58 PM ]
NEW DELHI: Hopeful of getting day or evening landing slots at Heathrow airport, Air- India is going to acquire two Boeing 747-400s and six A-310s on dry lease soon to connect American cities via London by December 1.
With the dry-leasing of these eight aircraft, for which the process has already begun, the international flagship would also connect the Indian cities of Cochin, Chennai and Bangalore with US cities like New York and Chicago besides Paris, said Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain.
With these aircraft, the carrier's fleet strength would rise to 36.
The airline would also come up with a "new image" in December when these new flights are scheduled for launch, the Minister said, adding that while the interiors of aircraft were being refurbished, new varieties of food would be included in the menu.
A-I has already obtained a pair of landing slots at Heathrow to start an additional London terminator flight from Delhi from winter schedule starting December.
The Indian carrier has also got six pairs of slots per week at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, besides JFK and Newark airports in New York for its three additional flights over Paris.
These flights are also scheduled for launch from December 1, Hussain said.
Responding to questions on good landing slots for A-I at London, he said the Indian carrier plans to operate 14 flights to and through Heathrow in the near future, raising the total number of services to 21 flights per week.
These flights would connect Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Cochin directly with Britain and the US, he said.
"As bilateralism represents sharing equal opportunities, it is imperative that additional rights of foreign carriers to fly into India are matched with the opportunity for Air India to operate through Heathrow," Hussain said.
During his recent visit to Britain where he held discussions with his British counterpart Alister Darling, Hussain said he also met representatives of the British Airport Group (BAG), the second largest group in the aerospace sector with an annual turnover of $18 billion.
Hussain, who briefed them on the airport privatisation process in India, also discussed the issues relating to leasing of airports, starting hubs in India and creating greenfield airports and improving minor airports across the country