More international airlines add flights to India

Dubai-based airline Emirates will re-introduce its pre-pandemic flight frequencies to India destinations effective April 1, operating 170 weekly flights to nine cities in the country. Foreign airlines have been reinstating their operations to India and also adding flights in the run up to resumption of international scheduled operations.

Emirates said Friday it will be operating the 35 weekly flights from Mumbai, 28 from Delhi, 24 from Bengaluru, 21 each from Chennai and Hyderabad, 14 from Kochi, 11 from Kolkata, nine from Ahmedabad and seven from Thiruvananthapuram.

Further, UK-based Virgin Atlantic announced a new second daily service to Delhi from London starting June 1. The airline already operates one daily flight on Delhi-London sector, and one on Mumbai-London sector. “This will be our largest ever flying programme to India, which is our third largest market globally,” said Alex McEwan, Country Manager South Asia at Virgin Atlantic.

Thai Airways is also planning to operate 35 flights every week between India and Thailand during summer 2022. In a statement, Rhett Workman, MD–Europe, Middle East and Asia operations at American Airlines, said: “As India resumes international flying, we look forward to expanding our presence in the country as we deepen our partnership with IndiGo and plan to launch new service between Seattle and Bangalore later this year”. It operates a non-stop service on Delhi-New York route.

Several other European airlines including Air France, KLM, Finnair, Lufthansa, LOT Polish, in addition to Malaysia Airlines have announced new routes, added frequencies and resumption of old routes to India. Given that scheduled international flights have been suspended since 2020, overseas air connectivity has been made possible under the air bubble agreements. Under the air bubble pacts, airlines could mount only a limited number of flights. However, with resumption of scheduled flights, carriers will be able to operate capacity in accordance with the original air service agreements negotiated between India and their home country.

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