Thursday, August 20, 2020

In a first, Air India direct flights from Kochi to London from Aug 28 to Sept 27

As part of Vande Bharath Mission, Air India will operate direct London-Kochi-London flight service from August 28 till September 27. There will be one flight each on Fridays and Sundays, directly connecting London and Kochi. “Flight AI 1186 from London will land at Kochi at 0015 on Sundays and depart to London at 1220 on the same day and the second service will land at Kochi at 0400 on Fridays and depart at 0600 on the same  day,” a statement by Kochi airport said.

Air India has been operating evacuation flights via Delhi and Mumbai from London with feeder flights to Kochi. But, these flights were not a suitable option for vulnerable groups due to the added exposure to the virus during the transit process at Delhi/Mumbai. “The flights between Kochi and London, which begins on August 28, will be the first direct flight to a European destination from Kerala,” said Tom Aditya, mayor emeritus of Bradley Stoke, Bristol in England.

Tom Aditya, who is from Pala and immigrated to the UK in 2002, said he and advocate Shaima Ammal, a Malayalee solicitor from London, kept pushing for the start of direct flights between Kochi and London.
Tom Aditya, who is currently chairman of the local Conservative Party, said “We have been pursuing for this direct flight for the last many years. This was one of my requests to the Indian authorities when I became the Mayor.
20/08/20 New Indian Express
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