B747-437B
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Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:00 am

Air India will launch their 4th transatlantic route this week when they commence service between Chicago's O'Hare International airport and Frankfurt in Germany on December 4.

The thrice weekly service to be operated on Monday, Thursday and Saturday will supplement Air India's already existing three weekly services to Chicago via London's Heathrow airport. The flights will originate in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, marking the only same-aircraft service between the software capital of India and North America. The airline also operates daily services each to Newark and New York JFK.

All flights will be operated by state-of-the-art Boeing 747-400 aircraft featuring 12 First Class flat-bed sleeper seats, 26 Business Class slumberette seats and 385 Economy Class seats. The first Frankfurt to Chicago flight will mark the one year anniversary of the unveiling of Air India's new First Class product.

Air India was the first Asian airline to inaugurate services across the Atlantic when they commenced service to New York in May 1960. Today they are the largest fifth freedom carrier across the Atlantic with almost 1 million annual seats offered on routes between London Heathrow to New York JFK and Chicago O'Hare, Paris Charles DeGaulle to Newark and Frankfurt to Chicago O'Hare. The airline is also the longest continuously operating carrier in the UK to US market with over 40 consecutive years of London to New York service, longer than any other airline serving that route today.

Air India is the flag carrier of India and by the end of 2003 will operate a fleet consisting of 14 Boeing 747s and 19 Airbus 310s. The airline services 37 destinations in 18 countries worldwide with its own aircraft and codeshares to 11 additional destinations.

[Edited 2003-11-30 03:06:01]
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
behramjee
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:39 am

Its just a matter of time before ORD too becomes daily which I expect it to be by summer 04 with the 7th flight being via FRA and not LHR (due to lack of slots).

Whats the update for AI leasing more B 744s and A 310s next year Mendis? I read that 2-3 more leased B 744s are coming in by summer 04. There was an earlier discussion few weeks ago that either LAX or SFO would too be started by summer 04 via HKG? Any update on this development???
 
IndianGuy
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:50 am

Sean: Will the 747's be going BLR-BOM-FRA-ORD and vv or will the FRA-BOM section be operted with A310's?
 
copaair737
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:54 am

will AI launch the rumored BLR-FRA-SFO service? I was reading an indian newspaper, and I saw that. It would probably be created for the tech industry that is heavy in both places.
Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:57 am



Smart move. Air India needs to capitalize on what is 'their own market'. I see Air India competing with LH flying out of Bangalore which is, I believe, making tons of money out of the BLR route. Would like to see Air India flights to the West coast though, particularly SFO. IMO, there is definitely a positive demand for BOM-EWR/JFK nonstop. What do you guys think?

cheers
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 11:57 am

I read that 2-3 more leased B 744s are coming in by summer 04.

I don't know where you read that, but the information is incorrect. There will be 2 744s arriving this week on lease from Korean Air, but that is all that has been approved for now. There will also be 2 A310s arriving later this month from Singapore Airlines, and another 2 A310s in June 2004 from an as-yet-undetermined source (tenders are being evaluated and will be approved by the board at their next meeting).

Its just a matter of time before ORD too becomes daily which I expect it to be by summer 04 with the 7th flight being via FRA and not LHR (due to lack of slots).

Actually, there are a number of interesting scenarios under consideration which will be determined largely by how the India-UK bilateral talks progress in January. If Chicago were to go daily, there would likely be a shift of all services through Frankfurt with the 12 London slots thus vacated used for service to the next North American gateway - likely to be either Los Angeles, Toronto or San Francisco. If additional Heathrow slots opened up (and the US were willing to permit it), we might see all Chicago services route through Heathrow and Frankfurt used as an expansion gateway. If the Heathrow slots were available contingent on the reduction of transatlantic fifth freedoms, we may see Chicago flights move to Frankfurt and the additional slots used for Heathrow terminators possibly with smaller guage - and ironically with the development that Virgin would lose their Delhi flights!

There was an earlier discussion few weeks ago that either LAX or SFO would too be started by summer 04 via HKG?

At present there are no specific plans whatsoever to run transpacific services via HKG. If LAX were to be launched over the Pacific, the gateway would be NRT. All the planning I have seen shows that HKG will remain an Airbus station for the foreseeable future.

Will the 747's be going BLR-BOM-FRA-ORD

The 744s will run to Bangalore on Sat/Mon ex-BLR and Thu/Sat ex-ORD, while the Thu flight ex-BLR and Mon ex-ORD will be an A310 on the domestic tag leg. The ORD flights via LHR will extend to AMD on some days of the week on the 744s, with EWR via CDG being the AMD extension on others.

[Edited 2003-11-30 04:05:08]
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
copaair737
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 12:02 pm

if it were between YYZ, LAX, and SFO, I would say SFO, because of all the tech business, and the huge indian population of northern california.
Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C, and Cocaine
 
behramjee
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 2:37 pm

I would say lease in a few more B 744s and start YYZ and SFO...both need AI very badly.

YYZ and SFO can both be served 3 times a week each via LHR using B 744s.

Sean...what are AIs plans for the future concerning MANCHESTER and SYDNEY? I know that they fly to Perth (or used to) with A 313s but Im surprised that SYD and MAN are not in their network considering the 1000s of Indians in both regions and esp from SYD they can pick up pax via connections from MEL-AKL-ADL-BNE etc. MAN will get pax from Northern UK (scotland and the midlands area).

I would imagine in the future that both these cities are good contenders for receiving Air India's A 340-300s and I wouldnt be surprised if SYD is nonstop from BOM or DEL...MAN will and should be NONSTOP from INDIA!!!
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Sun Nov 30, 2003 3:45 pm

I would say lease in a few more B 744s

Not that easy. They are already stretching flying capacity on both cockpit and cabin crew and have only just been given permission to hire new folks after 8 years of government mandated hiring freezes. It will take 12-18 months to ramp up sufficiently to a point where the manpower infrastructure is capable of handling a fleet size much larger than 35 planes - a figure we will be hitting in June 2004. Take pilots for example - the entry level folks go into the right seat of an Airbus. That pushes up the Airbus rightseaters to the 747 right seat and the 747 rightseaters into Airbus command positions as the Airbus commanders move up into the left seat of the jumbos. However, you can't do all that at the same time because the rookie Airbus commanders are then being paired up with rookie FOs. So there is an inherent timeframe constraint in how fast expansion can take place. Right now all expansion has been primarily in the Airbus fleet while the 747 fleet crew numbers have plateaued with workrule changes that reduced virtually all routes from three to two pilots. With the new 747s coming in, we will see the above chain slowly begin to flow. After that happens, we may be able to expand 747 routes. Remember that a 3x weekly service to North America requires ~20 additional pilots and ~180 additional cabin crew - those are pretty significant numbers for an airline the size of Air India to just pull out of a hat.

what are AIs plans for the future concerning MANCHESTER and SYDNEY?

AI has been in talks for a while now with Gulf Air to put a code on their new Singapore to Sydney services. That would put AI back into the Australian market, but is being done more as a hedge bet against Qantas bringing their own code back into India rather than relying on the current AI/QF joint fares (which are highly lucrative to both parties) with AI metal India-SIN and QF metal SIN-Australia. Yes, Sydney would probably be a strong candidate for a later expansion if/when the A340s start arriving but currently the market is too thin for a 747 and too long for an A310. Same deal with Manchester for the most part, but the market is not lucrative enough to waste valuable UK bilateral frequencies on that could otherwise be used for LHR. A restructured bilateral will be key to determining whether India-Manchester has a future, either with AI or BA/VS operations.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
AASilverbird
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:41 am

I was just wondering if AI had ever considered ATL as part of its network? As it is now, anyone who wishes to travel to India via Air India from this part of the US, first has to go to ORD, JFK, or EWR. Perhaps an ATL-FRA-BOM route? Has this ever been considered by AI? It seems to me from a passenger viewpoint demand would be there. And though, at the moment I don't have any numbers to back this up, it appears that DL and LH seem to do well on this route (though I realize that not everyone on these flts has India as a final destination), but for AI I don't know how this would work logistically or if it's worth AI's time, i.e. would it be profitable. Any opinions?
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 2:46 am

I was just wondering if AI had ever considered ATL as part of its network?

No. The Atlanta market is not large enough to provide a sufficient catchment market to India, plus ATL is not a designated gateway under the India-US bilateral.

Outside of the major gateways (NYC, WAS, LA, SFO, CHI), the only US gateways that could possibly support Air India service would be Miami, Seattle and Houston.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
AASilverbird
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:10 am

Thanks for the reply, Sean! As far as market goes, I kind of figured as much, but wasn't quite sure. Thought there may have been an outside chance. I could see HOU actually, but don't understand MIA or Seattle.

Can you tell me a little about the India-US bilateral and what it means to be a designated gateway under this agreement? What does it basically entail?
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:49 am

I could see HOU actually, but don't understand MIA or Seattle

Miami in itself doesn't neccessarily have a large catchment area, but its connectivity to the Carribean and South America has potentially enough traffic to serve as a Southeastern US gateway.

Seattle has a twofold catchment area. One is the software business traffic between the region and India which is growing exponentially. The other is the high concentration of North Indian immigrants in the southern BC (Canada) area for whom Seattle becomes a viable alternative gateway.

Houston (and Texas in general) has a huge Indian population. In fact Houston is one of only 4 US cities that has been graced with an Indian consulate (SFO, NYC, CHI, HOU) thanks to the size of the diaspora there.

Can you tell me a little about the India-US bilateral and what it means to be a designated gateway under this agreement? What does it basically entail?

I'm not going to go into great detail, but the basic bilateral allows India as many frequencies as they want to the gateways of NYC, WAS, LAX and SFO. Extra-bilateral services to CHI were approved in the early 90s with the only restriction that flights via LHR be limited to 3x weekly. There are also a whole host of fifth freedom rights granted.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
ssides
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 3:55 am

Forgive my ignorance, but is Air India in an alliance? If not, could anyone foresee it joining Star Alliance or oneworld any time soon?
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
AASilverbird
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 4:08 am

I don't think that it's involved in any of the major alliances formally, but they do codeshare with a number of airlines including LX, SQ, AF, and EK to name a few.
 
AASilverbird
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 4:17 am

Thanks again, Sean...does clear things up a bit!
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 4:53 am

"All flights will be operated by state-of-the-art Boeing 747-400 aircraft"

State of the art?????

A bit of hyperbole on Air India's part, isn't it? Those poor 744s need a massive interior overhaul to bring them up to the state of any art !
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 4:55 am

I don't think that it's involved in any of the major alliances formally, but they do codeshare with a number of airlines including LX, SQ, AF, and EK to name a few.

Air India is the proverbial codeshare gigolo - it gets a piece of everyone!  Big grin

Right now, AI codeshares with LX, OS, OZ, SQ, AF, VS, SU, EK, KU, MK, MH, LH, TG, MI and TK.

AI's closest relationships are with SQ/MI (codeshares from BLR/HYD/COK via SIN to LAX/SFO) and with AF (codeshares from BOM/DEL via CDG to AMS/TXL/FRA/GVA) with whom they also have a completely reciprocal frequent flier program.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Mon Dec 01, 2003 6:09 am

A bit of hyperbole on Air India's part, isn't it? Those poor 744s need a massive interior overhaul to bring them up to the state of any art !

Amen!

This actually brings me to the question I have always asked myself. Why I don't like flying Air India. Is it the callousness of the ground staff (be it in BOM/DEL or at JFK), or it is the poor inflight service (I have even heard of stories of flight attendants admonishing passengers), or is it the flying public in general that travels on Air India who have no regard/respect for the aircraft, the airline and the people who work for it. Could it be the brand positioning by the management and the pricing strategies, or is it simply the rampant corruption, bureaucracy, red tapism and nepotism? I know someone who recently retired from a Director position in AI and the stories I have heard make my stomach churn. Your comments would be appreciated.

cheers




I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:10 am


oh and to my above post, I would like to add one more reason for avoiding AI....the chronic AI delays which are being debated in another thread here.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1283071/
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
RiverVisualNYC
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:21 am

When will US domestic routes, like most everything else here, be outsourced to the Indians?
 
AASilverbird
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:37 am

When will US domestic routes, like most everything else here, be outsourced to the Indians?

LOL! Actually, doesn't DL have call centers in India? Thought I read that once. I know Dell and Oracle have customer support call centers there. May not be so far fetched that some domestic carriers may do the same in the future.
 
airjampanam
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:45 am

Windowseat... After flying AI on the JFK to LHR segment on a few occasions, it seems the problems are entirely cultural.
I wont even get into the specifics, but until that unit starts to run as a for profit airline, not much is going to change.
The airline gets "treated" as poor relations when it comes to terminal access at both JFK and LHR.
The inflight service is abominable, and in the event of an emergency how exactly are those beautifully attired female flight attendants supposed to get the job done in sandals?????
Suing is the new Lotto... if u wanna win u gotta sue!
 
latinaviation
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:53 am

DL does have a call center in India as does American Express Travel, amongst others. Check out the cover issue of this week's edition of Business Week, as well. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_49/b3861001_mz001.htm
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 2:02 am

until that unit starts to run as a for profit airline, not much is going to change

Air India reported profits of Rs.1.34 billion (US$30 million) during the last financial year, the second consecutive year of profitability. The airline is also expected to be profitable for the current financial year.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 2:16 am

"how exactly are those beautifully attired female flight attendants supposed to get the job done in sandals?????"

The same way they've done it for years. In any case, why would sandals be any more of a safety deterrent than high heels?

I'd be more concerned about the overweight paunchy male flight attendants on AI in their sensible shoes, or the doddering grandmas on United.

Air India basically competes on price. In every class of travel, their standards play second tier to the industry leaders, but if the price is right the traveller will overlook such basics as entertainment choice and more comfortable seats. I'm sure they will attract budget travellers on the FRA-ORD sector and business travellers who don't want to dish out top dollar on Lufthansa or United.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
RiverVisualNYC
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 2:34 am

LatinAv: Excellent article, everyone here should read it. It's slightly off topic but reading between the lines, you can see why AI is poised for huge growth. Related airline anecdote: About 7 years ago I met an Englishwoman that worked for BA in a HQ-level customer service management job in London, and after a few drinks the subject turned to personal travel experiences, and she mentioned she had spent a month or so in India. After a few more drinks, she explained to me was the reason why was to set up a BA customer service operation there that would issue "ghostwritten" responses to passenger complaints that would then be flown to London and mailed from the UK, so that the recepient got the impression they were receiving a personal letter from someone at BA corporate HQ. At the time I wondered how much money this kind of shady tactic could really save, but I guess companies will do anything now to get an edge on cost savings!
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:39 am

Air India basically competes on price. In every class of travel, their standards play second tier to the industry leaders, but if the price is right the traveller will overlook such basics as entertainment choice and more comfortable seats. I'm sure they will attract budget travellers on the FRA-ORD sector and business travellers who don't want to dish out top dollar on Lufthansa or United.

Exactly. Couldn't have put it better myself. As long as AI is constrained from rapidly responding to market conditions by bureaucratic requirements, this is probably the only strategy that AI can succesfully implement. They made the conscious move to transition to this strategy in 1999, and the consequent improvement in performance and financial results undoubtedly reinforce that this was the right move to make. Sure, the airline won't be flashy and will never be the top choice of anyone without price constraints but if they can fill 8000 seats/week between India/US they must be doing something right.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:50 am



Truly an amazing article LatinAviation. Must read

cheers
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
mog
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RE: Air India Launch 4th Transatlantic Route This Week

Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:19 pm

Inspite of all this, there are no airline seats available into or out of India for the next few weeks. Domestic is running full, too, and APEX fares have gone off the yield management charts into hiding.

Back to rack rates. Oy veh!

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