State carrier Air India (AI) has announced its winter schedule which comes into effect from 25 October which highlights a significant increase in commitment to Bangalore.
The airline will be operating around 130 flights per week ex Bangalore to various destinations in the country and abroad, offering around 17,000 seats weekly.
The carrier is introducing new “same day return” flights on regional routes, which allow early morning departures and late evening arrivals, facilitating business passengers to conduct a full day of work at their destination. Air traffic on regional routes fell sharply during the slowdown as passengers shifted to buses and trains to save costs.
Air India will provide 17 flights a week in this sector with an additional capacity of around 2,000 seats per week.
A new daily service IC-917, which will depart Bangalore 08:10 arrival Hyderabad at 09:15. The complementary flight IC-915 will arrive from Hyderabad at 07:30.
In the evening, IC-916 will depart Bangalore 18:50 and arrive Hyderabad 19:40, while the incoming flight IC-918 from Hyderabad will arrive in Bangalore at 17:45 providing a daily day return connection between the two cities.
The existing thrice a week flight, IC-977 departing Bangalore at 16:50 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays arriving Hyderabad at 18:10 will continue.
A new daily flight, IC-509, departs Bangalore at 07:45 to arrive at Chennai at 08:30. The incoming flight from Chennai, IC-909 will arrive Bangalore at 09:00.
In the evening, the existing flight IC 911 will depart Bangalore at 16:35 pm to arrive Chennai at 17:35 and the incoming flight IC-511 from Chennai, will arrive in Bangalore at 17:25.
Given the distance of the Bengaluru International Airport from the city, the Bangalore departure is much too early. Network planners at Air India do appear to have done their homework.
This is a “bundled” service involving Chennai. The morning flight is Bangalore-Chennai-Kochi vv, while the evening flight appears to be a Chennai-Bangalore-Kochi vv.
The morning flight IC-509 to Kochi will operate via Chennai, leaving Bangalore at 07:45 arriving Kochi at 10:25.
The evening flight IC-511 departs Bangalore at 18:10 arrives Kochi at 19:20 daily.
The incoming flights from Kochi will arrive in Bangalore at 07:10 in the morning and 17:25 in the evening daily, providing a day return connection.
Air India has made this route via Hyderabad. Very poor planning which ensures that Air India will not be the preferred option for travellers who would instead use the services of Jet Airways, Kingfisher and other carriers who operate this one hour flight, direct.
Air India flight IC-917 from Bangalore to Pune, departs Bangalore 08:10 arriving Pune at 11:15. The return flight from Pune, IC-918 will arrive in Bangalore at 17:45.