National carrier Air India is finally starting its long expected flights between New Delhi (Indira Gandhi airport) and Rome (Fiumicino, Leonardo da Vinci airport) and Milan (Malpensa airport). The flights will be operated triangular routing using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in a two class configuration with 18 business class seats and 238 economy class.
Effective June 6, 2014:
- On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, flight AI123 will depart Delhi at 14:20 and arrive Milan at 19:30. Depart Milan at 21:00 and arrive Rome at 22:10.
- On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, flight AI122 will depart Rome at 23:35 and arrive Delhi at 10:15 the next morning.
- On Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, flight AI123 will depart Delhi at 14:20 and arrive Rome at 19:05. Depart Rome at 20:40 and arrive Milan at 22:00.
- On Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, flight AI122 will depart Milan at 22:00 and arrive Delhi at 10:15 the next morning.
A hat-tip to our reader Xing Honey for the heads-up and schedule.
The sad part is: No official advertisement or promotion till date from Air India with just one month to the first flight on this route. They are not even selling tickets on their webpage. Only a few distribution channels are open now.
Why is it that Air India always comes up with such complicated routing, or is it just me, or does this type of routing makes any economic sense???. With Air india though they seem to lack any common sense when it comes to route economics….!!!!
It is the similar triangle schedule that they operate to Sydney and Melbourne route. It is kind of route survival schedule to fly two destinations on a single day without relying on code shares. On the other hand it wouldn’t be great if 90% loads are seen on a flight. It will never be able to achieve beyond 90% loads due to sharing destinations. In the peak season on Australia routes when other carriers are able to achieve 94% loads while Air India had to be content with 89% according to bitre data. This Milan/Rome schedule is OK for the time being as it takes time to reach better loads. But Australia triangle schedule should be made alternating between Delhi and Mumbai to provide Australia – Europe transit easy. By alternating I mean, DEL-MEL-BOM-SYD-DEL and DEL-SYD-BOM-MEL-DEL. With this DEL – MEL/SYD will depart in the same time. But MEL/SYD- DEL flights arrive to DEL in the morning to connect the outbound Europe routes.
Xing I take a bow to you, I’m sure what u jus typed above makes alot of sense sorta technically, I do wanna know is that will this gonna benefit us passengers and does the triangle AI fly to Australia has BOM on its route?? or is it just via Delhi…I rather fly Aus via Sin from BOM as per the options available….Mumbai was their base & why did they abandon BOM anyways apart from Terminal 3 of DEL and that excuse.
The BOM schedule was just my wish for AI. Current schedule has no BOM there. It is just DEL-SYD-MEL. My wish schedule would eventually benefit passengers as it would reduce the fares from BOM to Australia along with travel time. At one point Singapore airlines dictated fares on these routes. I have no idea what AI management and schedulers will be thinking when they move flight plans just like that reasoning some local issues without much research. Now its just neither proper transit hub schedules nor point to point. Technically they can use the advantage of having multiple big airports with high volumes of passengers. They can easily make DEL as transit hub and BOM as point to point for OD traffic and code shares.. All it takes is little will power to do and slight schedule tweaks.
Air India should start investing some money into marketing. They should improve their image and showcase its B787-8 products to the world. They should start thinking out of box and try to catch up with its MEAs competitors.