Friday, September 04, 2020

Air India Eyes Huge London Repatriation Effort In October

Air India is expanding it’s London services this October, flying direct flights from 10 Indian cities. A number of cities will see direct services that usually do not, such as Kolkata, Goa, Kochi, and more. With tough competition from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Vistara, the flag carrier is capitalizing on repatriation traffic to smaller cities.
The special London flights will operate from October 1st to 24th under the Vande Bharat repatriation mission. The carrier usually flies to London from five popular cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Amritsar. From these hubs, Air India runs feeder flights to several other Indian cities.
This time around, Air India is doubling its direct destinations, adding flights from Goa, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. With this, the carrier will fly from London to 10 Indian cities, handily beating the competition.
A few possible reasons for this are increased demand and potential virus exposure. The fall and winter are usually popular travel times, with students and holidaymakers taking international flights. Air India could be jumping on the opportunity to carry more passengers, even though leisure travel is likely quite sluggish.
Another positive is the removal of layovers for passengers connecting to domestic destinations. Since international flights usually land in hub cities, at times many passengers must wait hours before connecting onward, which increases the risk of contracting COVID-19. With direct flights, passengers need not worry about this.
04/09/20 Pranjal Pande/Simple Flying
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