The Indian Government has granted permission to Virgin Atlantic to operate a third weekly service on the Delhi to London Heathrow route. This service will operate beginning February 17 and will continue till the end of March. Beyond that, the extrabilateral rights will be reviewed and a decision made whether to permit continued operations.
Currently, British Airways is the only airline designated by the UK Government to fly between London and India. Virgin Atlantic operates their 2 weekly frequencies by reverse-codesharing with Air India using dormant rights from the Indian side. This third frequency is part of the Indian government's experiment with open skies that will expire March 31. The second phase of the experiment will run November 1, 2003 through March 31, 2004.
The new VS flight will operate on Mondays using an A340-300.