Air India will inaugurate the first ever scheduled service by an Indian carrier to mainland China today when its first flight lands at Shanghai's Pu-Dong airport at 8pm local time.
The twice-weekly flight will operate via Bangkok with Airbus 310-300 aircraft configured with 201 seats in a 2-class configuration. Full traffic rights are available for the Bangkok-Shanghai sector.
The response to the new flights has been terrific, with the first flight already oversold and every flight booked to capacity until February. The airline has plans to increase frequency to the maximum four-weekly allowed by the India-China bilateral in March, and to press for increased rights to China during the April round of bilateral aviation discussions between the Governments.
Shanghai becomes Air India's 25th international destination, in addition to 12 international gateways in India.
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 on 4 continents with its own aircraft and codeshares to 11 additional destinations.
[Edited 2003-12-10 23:26:06]