Tata Group-owned Air India on Friday announced 20 additional flights every week to Birmingham, London and San Francisco as it looks to bolster its international footprint.

The additional flights to these three global destinations will be introduced in a phased manner from October to December this year.

With 5 additional flights a week to Birmingham, 9 additional flights to London and 6 additional flights a week to San Francisco, Air India will be able to offer over 5,000 additional seats every week to customers and ensure ample choice in terms of connectivity, convenience, and cabin space, the Tata-owned carrier says.

Air India's current schedule of 34 flights every week to the UK will now go up to 48 flights. Birmingham will receive an extra five flights per week, three from Delhi and two additional from Amritsar. London will receive nine additional weekly flights, of which, five are from Mumbai, three from Delhi and one from Ahmedabad. Altogether, seven Indian cities will now have non-stop Air India flights to the UK's capital.

Air India flights from India to the United States will increase from 34 to 40 per week. Air India will now connect Mumbai with San Francisco with a thrice weekly service, and reinstate a three-times-weekly Bengaluru operation. This takes Air India's San Francisco offering from 10 to 16 weekly, with non-stop service from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

"This sizeable frequency increase to the US and the UK, as well as the addition of new city pairs and improved aircraft cabin interiors, comes just 10 months after Air India's acquisition by the Tata Group. It is a clear signal of our intent, and an early step towards a much bigger aspiration," says Campbell Wilson, chief executive officer and managing director of Air India.

"As Air India reinvents itself under the Vihaan.AI transformation programme, adding frequency and improving connectivity from major Indian cities to more international destinations is a significant focus," Wilson adds.

In addition to leasing new aircraft, Air India has been working to restore existing narrow-body and wide-body aircraft to the operating fleet. The airline has already enabled frequency increases between Delhi and Vancouver as well as the addition of numerous domestic services.

Meanwhile, the former national carrier has cut down the discount offered on basic fares to senior citizens and students in the economy class. For tickets issued on or after September 29, 2022, 25% discount of basic fare will be applicable on select booking classes in economy cabin, the full-service carrier said in an update on Thursday. The airline was earlier offering a 50% discount on select booking classes in economy cabins of its aircraft to these two categories.

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