As part of its mega revamp strategy and to enhance global reach, the Tata group-owned Air India has announced the launch of six new international flights from Delhi and Mumbai. These flights will connect the two megacities to New York and EU countries.
The airline will launch flights connecting Mumbai to New York, Paris and Frankfurt and will also resume nonstop flights from Delhi to Vienna, Milan and Copenhagen. "Fly Non-stop from Delhi to Milan, Vienna and Copenhagen for a relaxing holiday on the luxurious B787-8 Dreamliner. Flights starting from February 2023," Air India said.
“This expansion comes as the airline continues to make progress in augmenting its fleet with newly leased aircraft, and the return of existing aircraft to active service,” said Air India.
The new Mumbai-New York flight will start on February 14, 2023. The daily flight will connect Mumbai to John F Kennedy International Airport on B777-200LR aircraft, taking Air India’s non-stop weekly India-US flight frequency to 47.
The airline will resume four new weekly flights between Delhi and Milan from February 1. Three weekly flights between Delhi and Vienna will start on February 18, 2023, while an equal number of flights on the Delhi-Copenhagen route will start on March 1, 2023.
“A key element of our five-year transformation plan, Vihaan.AI, is to strengthen India’s global network, connecting India’s major cities with even more destinations," said Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD, Air India, adding that the new flights will add to the growing fleet of the airline. "The introduction of these new non-stop flights to New York, Milan, Vienna, Copenhagen, Paris and Frankfurt, is another step in that journey, which will accelerate as our aircraft fleet expands."
The latest addition in flights comes after the Tata group-owned airline in September announced 20 additional flights every week to Birmingham, London and San Francisco. These additional flights will be introduced in a phased manner from October to December this year.
Air India’s sizeable frequency increase to the US and Europe comes around a year after Air India was acquired by the Tata Group.
The capacity expansion is in line with the Tata group's transformation plan called 'Vihaan.AI', which is a comprehensive multi-stage revival roadmap to catapult Air India into a world-class airline. The airline has reportedly earmarked $1.9 billion to expand Air India's operations in the next two years. Under Vihaan.AI, over the next 5 years, Air India aims to increase its domestic market share to at least 30%, while significantly growing its international market share.
As per the latest available DGCA data, Air India's domestic market share stands at 9.1%, while the market leader IndiGo's market share is at 56.7%.
The revamp will mark the complete overhaul of the iconic airline, which up until last year was standing on a shaky foundation amid mounting losses and huge debt. The government sold its entire stake in Air India to Talace, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, on 27 January 2022. The sale marked the national carrier’s return to the salt-to-software conglomerate after a span of 69 years.