DALLAS — Indian national air carrier Air India (AI) has announced one of its greatest expansions to the United Kingdom today. This operation includes the addition of five new frequencies to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and 12 new weekly flights to London Gatwick Airport (LGW) from six different cities across India.
This, according to the airline, is part of its ongoing endeavor to “spread its wings” on the international aviation map, thereby increasing its market share on international routes. AI is going through one of its largest restructuring plans in history, called Vihaan AI, which focuses on dramatically growing both its network and fleet over a period of five years.
To LHR, flights from Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM) will be reinforced with up to 17 and 14 weekly frequencies, respectively. In LGW, on the other hand, AI will offer three weekly flights from Ahmedabad (AMD), Goa (GOI), Amritsar (ATQ), and Kochi (COK) by the start of the summer season in Europe.
All these transcontinental connections will be served by Boeing 787-8 aircraft, which translates into more than 1000 seats offered between India and the capital of the United Kingdom, starting from March 26th, 2023.
Air India’s Gem, The Boeing 787
With almost 30 units in service, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is Air India’s most common and most used long-haul airplane. With first deliveries happening in September 2012, Boeing’s newest widebody has accompanied India’s national carrier through its difficult latest history.
The aircraft now offers the airline the possibility to operate long and skinny routes from the country’s main cities to big cities across Europe, Asia, and the Pacific such as London (LHR), Frankfurt (FRA), Dubai (DXB), or Sydney (SYD).
While most part of Boeing 777 jets is based at AI’s biggest hubs, Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM), the job of the Dreamliner is to connect the smallest cities in India to the outside world in a cheaper and more profitable way, thanks to its outstanding fuel efficiency and range.
The Boeing 787 is also a critical piece in the airline’s massive restructuring plan Vihaan AI, which also aims for an improvement in sustainability and a decrease in carbon emissions in unfortunately one of the world’s most affected countries by climate change and global warming.
Featured image: VT-ANG Air India Boeing 787-8. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways