National carrier Air India has announced connecting Bengaluru to London. The airline decided to terminate the London Heathrow – Newark leg of its Ahmedabad – London – Newark flight and the aircraft would now operate Ahmedabad – London – Bengaluru – London – Ahmedabad with 4x weekly between Ahmedabad and London and 3x weekly between Bengaluru and London.
The new flights will be as below and are now open for sale
AI177 BLR0525 – 1105LHR 788 246
AI178 LHR1300 – 0400+1BLR 788 135
The Ahmedabad – London Heathrow flight would continue to operate as below
AI171 AMD0705 – 1105LHR 135
AI172 LHR1300 – 0240+1 AMD 246
AI175 AMD0705 – 1105LHR 7
AI176 LHR1300 – 0240+1 AMD 7
The airline could have changed flight numbers for the sunday departure. Earlier the flight operated with a different flight number since it was a terminator at London, while on other three days it went onwards to Newark.
The airline will operate the 256 seater B787 Dreamliner on this route. Bengaluru is the fourth destination which the airline connects with London.
London is the single largest international Origin – Destination city pair by traffic from India as well as separately from Mumbai and Delhi. (Dubai carries more traffic but that does not terminate at Dubai). India – UK Air Services Agreement (ASA) restricts 56 services per week between London Area (London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stanstead) and Delhi & Mumbai. Currently Air India operates double daily from Delhi and daily from Mumbai while Jet Airways operates triple daily flights from Mumbai and daily from Delhi. This leaves space for a daily flight between Mumbai or Delhi to London. Media reports indicate that Air India has been holding on to those rights. Low cost carrier IndiGo has also been working towards getting rights on the sector with possible freedom rights from some airport in Eastern Europe.
The airline is going ahead with expansion on the wide body with opening up of Mumbai – Frankfurt starting 16th of October with the rest of the expansion coming up on narrow body aircraft.