Aviation News

Back in Mumbai: Air Canada resumes flights to the Indian Financial Capital

Air Canada has resumed flights to Mumbai after a gap of 3 years. However, things have now changed. Rather than operating the flight between Toronto and Mumbai nonstop, it is now operating a one-stop flight via London Heathrow in either direction.

Back in Mumbai!

As of 29th October 2022, Air Canada is operating a direct flight on Toronto-London Heathrow-Mumbai-London Heathrow-Toronto route with the following schedule:

  • Toronto-London Heathrow
  • Departure time: 20:30
  • Arrival time: 08:30 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 7 hours
  • Flight number: AC856
  • Frequency: Daily
  • London Heathrow-Mumbai
  • Departure time: 11:10
  • Arrival time: 01:25 (the next day) (+2 days overall)
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 45 minutes
  • Flight number: AC856
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Mumbai-London Heathrow
  • Departure time: 04:45
  • Arrival time: 09:20
  • Flight time: 10 hours and 05 minutes
  • Flight number: AC855
  • Frequency: Daily
  • London Heathrow-Toronto
  • Departure time: 12:00
  • Arrival time: 14:55
  • Flight time: 7 hours and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: AC855
  • Frequency: Daily

The total flying time from Toronto to Mumbai is 18 hours and 25 minutes while it is 20 hours and 40 minutes from Mumbai to Toronto including a 2 hours and 40 minutes stop at London Heathrow in either direction.

These flights will be operated by Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner featuring 30 lie-flat Signature Class seats (Business Class seats), 21 Premium Economy seats and 247 standard Economy Class seats.

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Entering a new market

Air Canada used to operate flights between London and Mumbai 31 years ago as part of a longer routing. The airline is now once again operating flights between the two cities.

What’s great for Air Canada here is that it will be able to serve three markets at the same time:

  • Toronto-London Heathrow (increased frequency with the launch of this route)
  • London Heathrow-Mumbai (tapping into a rather new market)
  • Toronto-Mumbai

The launch of this route is great for passengers travelling between Mumbai and London Heathrow as they will be able to travel on Air Canada and experience Canadian hospitality without the need to go to Canada.

Prior to the pandemic when the airline last served Mumbai in 2020, it operated nonstop flights between Toronto and Mumbai. However, as the Russian airspace is closed to so many airlines around the world including Air Canada, it had to include a fuel-stop somewhere as nonstop flights were not possible due to various issues. The airline chose London Heathrow for this and it’s good that that it has obtained fifth-freedom rights for London-Mumbai segment as it can capture a new market. It remains to be seen whether Air Canada will continue with this one-stop flight or switch to a nonstop flight when the Russian airspace opens (although that is unlikely to happen anytime soon).

London Heathrow-Mumbai market becomes competitive

London Heathrow-Mumbai route will now have up to 7-flights-a-day in this winter schedule. Four airlines will compete with each other. Here is the airline wise break-up:

  • British Airways – 2-flights-a-day presently increasing to 3-flights-a-day from mid-December 2022 onwards
  • Virgin Atlantic: daily flight
  • Air India: up to 2-flights-a-day (currently operating 12-flights-a-week)
  • Air Canada: daily flight

Growing India schedule

This winter, Air Canada is operating 17-flights-a-week to India. These include:

  • Toronto-Mumbai (with a stop at London Heathrow): daily flight
  • Toronto-Delhi: daily flight
  • Montreal-Delhi: 3-flights-a-week

Air Canada’s Vancouver-Delhi route remains suspended due to Russian airspace restrictions.

Featured image of Air Canada’s B787-9 at Mumbai Airport by Twitter/csmia

What do you think of Air Canada resuming flights to Mumbai? Let me know in the comments section below.

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