If you have been looking for a non-stop option to travel to Nairobi, Toronto or Bali from India, then Air India might just be the answer after three months.
The national carrier plans to launch a slew of flights and connect new dots on the back of a newly activated fleet of B777s, B787s and A320s.
The airline will operate flights between Delhi and Toronto from September 27 three times a week using a Boeing 777 ER which has a capacity for 342 passengers.
The flight AI 187 will depart from Delhi at 3:00 AM local time and will reach Toronto at 08:45 AM local time. Flight AI 188 will depart from Toronto at 11:45 AM and will arrive in Delhi at 12:30 PM.
As a large number of passenger traffic on this route is from Amritsar, Air India has also added domestic connections for better transit. On returning from Toronto, passengers can take international AI 0016 flight to Amritsar from Delhi or can choose domestic AI 479.
In the case of AI 0016, passengers can get their immigration and customs done at Amritsar airport also. However, in the case of AI 479, the immigration and customs process will have to be done in Delhi.
Similar connections are also available for travel to Toronto from Amritsar via Delhi in the form of AI 0015 and AI 480 flights. While Air India has kept promotional return fares at Rs 93,800 for the route, travel booking websites are already showing return fares around Rs 86,000. The estimated passenger load traffic on the route is seen at 77 percent.
"One-stop flights rarely do well. We have seen that with connection to New York via London. Everyone likes direct flights," chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said.
This is not the first time that Air India has launched flights to Toronto. However, earlier it was not a direct flight. The flight commenced in 2005 on Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham-Toronto route but was withdrawn in 2012.
Air India also plans to start direct flights to Nairobi from Mumbai by the end of September. Return fares are expected to be Rs 45,000. The airline will operate a Boeing 777 on the route.
Air India also plans to tap Bali, one of the most popular tourist destination among Indians. The airline plans to launch direct flights to Bali from Delhi using A320 from October 30. However, the aircraft will have to take a technical halt for fuel supply. Return fares are estimated at Rs 40,000.