Air India has announced that it is increasing flights between Delhi and Vancouver.
Increase in flights to Vancouver
As of 31st August 2022, Air India will operate a daily flight between Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and Vancouver International Airport. Presently, the airline operates 3-flights-a-week between the two cities.
The flights will run with the following schedule:
- Departure time: 05:15
- Arrival time: 07:15
- Flight time: 14 hours and 30 minutes
- Flight number: AI185
- Frequency: Daily
- Departure time: 10:15
- Arrival time: 13:35 (the next day)
- Flight time: 14 hours and 50 minutes
- Flight number: AI186
- Frequency: Daily
Flights will be operated by Boeing B777-300ER aircraft featuring First Class, Business Class and Economy Class.
This increase in our frequency between Delhi and Vancouver is very welcome for many reasons. It is another sign of recovery from the pandemic and caters to strong customer demand. More importantly, it marks the first step in restoring Air India’s fleet and international network.said Campbell Wilson, MD and CEO, Air India.
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The airline states that “this enhancement in frequency caters to growing traffic between India and Canada and has been enabled by the return to service of the wide body Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft with three class configuration of first, business and economy”.
Air India adds that Boeing has been working closely with the airline following its acquisition by Tata Group to restore aircraft that had been grounded for prolonged periods due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other reasons. The progressive restoration of these aircraft has already allowed Air India to increase schedule resilience and will allow further frequency and network increases over the coming months.
Air India’s wide body fleet currently stands at 43 aircraft, of which 33 are operational. This is a improvement from 28 aircraft that the airline was operating till recently. The Indian full service carrier says that the remaining aircraft will be progressively returned to service by early 2023.
Air India will face direct competition from Air Canada, although not for the time being. Until recently, Air Canada used to operate daily flight between Vancouver and Delhi. However, the airline was forced to suspend these flights due to the closure of Russian airspace.
Air Canada will resume flights between Vancouver and Delhi on 18th October 2022. However, then also Air India will have an advantage. The Indian carrier is able to fly through the Russian airspace meaning that it can operate nonstop flight both ways.
However, Air Canada will not have this advantage. The airline will operate its flight from Vancouver to Delhi via Dublin, meaning passengers will have a longer journey time and will also be required to de-board the aircraft in Dublin and again board.
All in all, it’s good to see Air India expanding its international operations by bringing back more and more aircraft into service.
Featured image by Wikimedia Commons
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