B747-437B
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Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Sun Jul 29, 2001 4:46 pm

After much hemming and hawwing and indefinitely deferring the schedule changes back in May, Air India has finally gone ahead and launched one of the most significant schedule expansions in their history.

Some key elements of the new schedules are :

BOM-SIN goes up to 18x weekly flights, including 3 nonstop redeyes leaving BOM at 2300 on Tue, Sat, Sun and arriving SIN at 0650 the next day. These will be operated with A310-300s.

BOM-HKG goes up to 9x weekly, including 2 nonstop redeyes leaving BOM at 0130 on Tue, Sat and arriving HKG at 1000 the same morning. These will supplement the expanded daily one-stop service. All flights will be A310-300s.

MAA-HKG flights are introduced with 2x weekly redeyes. Flights leave MAA at 2240 on Mon, Thu and arrive HKG at 1040 the next day. These will be A310-300s.

BOM-LHR goes up to 11x weekly with the addition of an additional service on Fridays. AI 121 leaves BOM at 0640 and arrives in LHR at 1430 with a stop in DEL. This supplements the 0515 and 0630 nonstops. All three are operated with B747-437s.

BOM-JED goes up to 8x weekly with a mixture of 744s and 310s.

COK gets expanded service to the Middle East.

Plenty of other good stuff, but this is all the interesting ones.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
timberwolf24
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Sun Jul 29, 2001 5:07 pm

Any added US flights? I know at one time they had or planed to have 6 flights a week into ORD.
Living in LA, ORD/MDW will always be home!
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Sun Jul 29, 2001 5:18 pm

AI used to operated 6x weekly to ORD, 3x through LHR and 3x through FRA but dropped the FRA-ORD flights after summer 1999 when they pulled out of Frankfurt. The LHR-ORD flights are extra-bilateral in nature and allow only 3x weekly frequencies with 5th freedom rights, so we won't see any more ORD flights until AI goes back into FRA. AI does hold dormant 5th freedoms on FRA-ORD and CDG-ORD.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
maharaja
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Sun Jul 29, 2001 5:28 pm

Well Timberwolf....no new flights AS of NOW to the US.

But..hey watch this space.. Air India's (reinstated ) Commercial Director- V.K.Verma has applied last Monday for a slot out of LHR to YYZ to extend the new flight AI-121 to Toronto.

This new Schedule (if the slot is granted) will only come into effect from April 6 2002 . Though IMHO a once weekly flight across the poind into Canada does'nt offer Pax too much flexibility and may not even take off.

As it is - the rather ill planned AI-121/120 is already marketing at a record low fare of 358 pounds ex London..to entice passengers.This because no one realised ( or bothered to check) that Bransons Virgin leaves London for New Delhi at the VERY SAME TIME on the VERY Same day. lol

A tentative application was also made for a flight out of CDG to Newark airport - but this is subject to IF and WHEN AI gets the additional leased 747-400 that they have sought.

But then ..Thats a BIG IF lmao...
but u never know..
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Sun Jul 29, 2001 5:52 pm

This because no one realised ( or bothered to check) that Bransons Virgin leaves London for New Delhi at the VERY SAME TIME on the VERY Same day.

Actually, they were well aware that they would be operating wingtip flights with the VS codeshare, but it was a question of use-em-or-lose-em slots at LHR, so they had to pounce. Personally, I love it since it gives me an extra, empty flight for me to get to India on!

I'm not even going to begin discussing VK Verma here, so we'll leave it at that.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
ryu2
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Sun Jul 29, 2001 5:53 pm

Will they ever come to LAX (not counting the current SQ codeshare)? I heard that in the 90s they were considering it, via NRT.
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Sun Jul 29, 2001 6:06 pm

AI has always held (and still does hold) the India-NRT-LAX 5th freedom rights, but has indefinitely deferred using them as a condition of obtaining the ORD extra-bilateral flights. AI was actually considering India-SEL-SFO flights in the early 90s, before the Asian economic crisis put paid to those plans.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
zizou
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Mon Jul 30, 2001 8:46 am

Any chance of Air India coming down here to Australia?Sydney and Melbourne both have very large Indian populations. Now with SriLankan temporarily gone form our skies (how long?), the quickest way to India is probably with Qantas, via Singapore to Mumbai.

They used to fly to Perth via Singapore a few years back with A310s
 
IndianGuy
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Mon Jul 30, 2001 3:48 pm

Nice to see AI introducing more non-stops. As of now, we had only 2 options: SQ or even worse Qantas since only these 2 operated non-stop from BOM-SIN, while AI's BOM-SIN flights hopped across the country (MAA, BLR or HYD) before the SIN leg. Now with AI operating non-stop there is finally a "Swadeshi" option, even if it just 3x weekly. They should go daily IMO.

Also the non-stops from BOM-HKG. Way to go man.

I sincerely hope that AI introduces SEPARATE daily non-stops from BOM-LHR and DEL-LHR instead of the BOM-DEL-LHR routing being followed now. The BOM-LHR and DEL-LHR runs could be extended to BLR/MAA. Atleast BOM-LHR must be non-stop.

I also hope to see more ops to YYZ and YVR. With the number of Punjoo's there, AI should have no problem filling a 747 daily!

What do u guys think?
 
David_itl
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Mon Jul 30, 2001 7:01 pm


As far as I'm aware, the UK-India bilateral agreement limits frequencies to a combined 32 per week, evenly split.

I believe that there is 1 spare frequency on the Indian side: the Virgin service is considered to be on the Indian part of the agreement due to the AI codesharing agreement in place.

Therefore, I wouldn't expect any airline to be in a postition to increase frequency.

David/MAN: 360 and counting
 
jaysit
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Mon Jul 30, 2001 10:22 pm

Sounds very good !

And, Sean, as per your comments concerning AI's updated service, I went ahead and reserved two Business Class seats for my parents on AI (Bom-Lhr-JFK-Bom). I was also pleasantly surprised when the e:mail I sent AI's cabin staff in Bombay was returned promptly with all questions answered.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Tue Jul 31, 2001 12:10 am

David - Under the present bilateral, both BA and AI are granted traffic rights to 16 weekly services between Heathrow and India. These slots can be distributed between the gateways of Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Chennai as the airline chooses.

However, AI has never been able to utilize these traffic rights completely because LHR restricts the number of take-off/landing slots available to AI. Presently AI operates daily service through LHR to JFK and thrice weekly service to ORD, plus the new LHR terminator. Hence, there are 5 AI frequencies that are going to waste because AI is unable to obtain landing slots at LHR. In the meanwhile, BA operates daily non-stop service from LHR to both DEL and BOM, as well as twice weekly non-stop service to MAA, using all 16 of their frequencies.

AI has gotten around this problem by allowing VS to codeshare with them twice weekly on the LHR-DEL sector. This benefits both carriers immensely since VS gets access to an excellent market, while AI is able to utilize the excess capacity created. The irony of the situation is that VS is operating these flights as an INDIAN carrier under the bilateral, because of the codeshare with AI. As a result, DEL-LHR now has a DAILY nonstop flight with an AI code. Similarly, BOM-LHR has 6x weekly nonstops, with a total of 11 direct flights (5x through DEL).

Roy - YYZ service is possible, but not likely in the near future. YVR isn't even in consideration right now.

Zizou - You are correct about AI having a great history with Australian operations. PER used to be a crew base for AI (with crews operating to/from Singapore, Sydney and Nadi) from the early 60s all the way up to 1986 when they pulled out of the market for the first time. The airline had very good brand recognition there. I remember living in PER when my dad was posted there in the early/mid-80s and there were constant print and TV ads touting the airline.

The services to PER were initially 707s on the BOM-MAA-SIN-PER-SYD-Nadi milk run (this was in the 1960s), then when AI pulled out of Fiji in the 1970s they became BOM-MAA-SIN-PER-SYD with the 707. Once the second wave of 747 deliveries began in the late 70s/early 80s the service switched to 747s and BOM-SIN-PER-SYD (with connections from the Airbus service MAA-SIN for the South Indian pax). In June 1985, AI made the decision to close the PER crew base at the end of the year (and I remember crying over that decision aged all of 8 years!) and the service became BOM-SIN-SYD with 747. Around 1989, during the Rajan Jetley years, AI decided to pull out of the SYD market and reintroduce service to YYZ instead (which had been suspended since the bombing of AI 182 in 1984). There was no service to Australia for a few years and then PER came back online with A310 service on BOM-BLR-SIN-PER. However, this was during AI's huge push for SIN expansion (when they introduced non-stops from BOM, DEL, MAA, CCU, BLR, HYD and TRV) and the SIN market was oversaturated by AI. These flights were not too succesful so they pulled out of the market in 1995 and it has been that way since.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
David_itl
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Tue Jul 31, 2001 3:04 am

B747-437B

Mustn't forget how AI had a 4 weekly MAN-FCO-BOM service with 70% loads, with AI reported in the media wanting extra A310s so that they could increase frequency to various destinations including MAN. Within 3 months, they withdrew the service  Sad It was then that VS decided to talk to AI about codesharing services from LHR using the spare frequencies on the AI part of the agreement.

When they launched the service, they said they couldn't operate the frequency or with the type they wanted....it should have been a 4 weekly 747 instead of a 2 weekly A310. At least they got frequency they wanted.

David/MAN: 360 and counting
 
BarfBag
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RE: Air India Launches Significantly Expanded Schedule

Tue Jul 31, 2001 3:25 am

From what I remember from B747-437B's posts, the MAN route was in existence because AI could not receive any suitable slots at LHR. I wonder if it was scrapped because of AIs 'think local' attitude in recent times that resulted in them concentrating on the high-yield Gulf sector and SIN/HKG.