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Air India Proposes New Nonstop Flights Between Chennai and London

by Radhakrishnan Pattabiraman

Air India announced that its proposal to operate nonstop flights from Chennai (MAA) to London Heathrow (LHR).

In addition, the services are likely to begin in January 2021.

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA | © rediff.com

LONDON. | © clinkhostels.com

Once flights begin, Chennai becomes the ninth capital city in India to have a direct link to London.

At present,  New Delhi with 7 weekly flights,  Mumbai (4), Kochi (3), Ahmedabad (2) Kolkatta (1) and Amritsar (1) are the cities being served.

“We have plans to commence direct operations between Chennai and London from January, 2021,”

a spokesperson for Air India said.

India’s National Carrier Air India | © Financial Express

Passenger Patronage On The Rise

While the COVID-19 pandemic is receding,  Passenger patronage is increasing. Clearly, more people have started flying, and this is the trend across India.

Bookings are happening at a brisk pace. As a result, more operators are pursuing newer flight routes. Thus, the outlook remains encouraging.

The lock-down announced on March 23 this year has brought the aviation industry to a screeching halt.  Thus, all domestic and international flights came to a complete halt.

Whilst, this has happened,  Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights evacuate and repatriate people. Subsequently, bi-lateral air-bubble contracts have come into operation with international carriers being allowed to do such flights between countries.

Recently the Government of India relaxed its cap from 60 to 70% on the domestic flights to resume.  While the ban is up to 31st December and the number of flights per day is likely to go up to 1750. Air India continues to operate Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights across India to a various international destination.

TR opines the Non-Stop flight between Chennai  (MAA) and London (LHR) is a positive sign on the rebound aviation sector.

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