For example, once they had declared FRA as a scissor hub for flights onward to USA. , they just connected BOM and DEL to FRA and had onward routes to ORD,EWR,LAX. Neither BLR nor MAA was taken into consideration.
Till last year even I agreed that AI is not ignoring south and are building strong hub in DEL but recent events like continuing the loss making AMD LHR EWR and launching of ATQ BHX have totally changed my views.
IIRC, LAX was never in the picture six years ago. They used to have AMD in addition to BOM & DEL (AI126 was ORD-BOM via FRA, AI 144 was AMD-bound from EWR and the DEL flight used to be the YYZ one). And there used to be the additional JFK-BOM/DEL non-stops (not sure of DEL).
Anecdotally from what I know of interacting with the desi community out here, HYD is extremely price conscious ($1,000 + returns are considered expensive) so sustaining a non-stop would be difficult. Same for MAA. But BLR might just be a question of aircraft range? As to AMD-LHR-EWR, I am just assuming it's to please the guy with the 56" chest.
We can know for sure only on Mar 22. Hopefully it shuts up the perpetual naysayer.
Reuters says AI confirmed:https://www.reuters.com/article/us-air- ... SKCN1GJ24X