Air India has recommenced flights between Delhi and Toronto. The resumption of flights by Air India between the two cities comes as the airline looks to fill gaps in international routes out of India following the demise of Jet Airways. The flights will run three times a week and the first flight left Delhi on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
And Airways Magazine notes that inaugural flight was operated by Air India’s garish “Celebrating India” Boeing 777-300ER. We’ve reported on this plane’s unique livery earlier. Air India is focusing on their country’s cultural landmarks and rich cultural heritage. It is definitely eye-catching.
Air India previously flew to Toronto but exited the route seven years ago. Jet Airways flew the route more recently but pulled out earlier this year when that airline was in its death throes. There is a sizeable Indian diaspora in Toronto with India one of the largest single source of migrants to the Greater Toronto area. With Jet Airways off the route and Air India keen to expand and exploit opportunities from Jet Airways’ collapse, Air India has stepped into the breach and are sending their 777-300ER out over the North Pole and into Canada.
Air India’s Boeing 777-300ER
The Air India Boeing 777-300ER has an older style three-class configuration with first class, business class and economy. It’s pleasingly retro when so many airlines are axing first-class, introducing premium economy, and differentiating different sections of their main economy cabin.
The Air India Boeing 777-300ER seats four passengers in first class, 35 passengers in business class, and 303 passengers in economy class.
What is interesting is that first class appears to be one 1-2-1 row at the front of the business class cabin. The Seat Guru seat map does not indicate any bulkheads or cabin dividers but photos from a 2017 review in Travel Codex show there is a dividing wall. That review was reasonably positive.
The 777-300ER’s business class cabin is set out in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats are lie-flat seats but that configuration won’t win the Air India 777-300ER business class cabin any awards. The photos available on Seat Guru are not too flattering either. Or maybe it was just bad lighting.
The main economy cabin has passengers seated in a 3-3-3 configuration.
In fairness to Air India, their flights can usually be snapped up at bargain prices and their 777-300ER’s are about 10 years old on average. Air India’s financial problems have probably held it back from updating their hard product. But it is a decent flight at 14 odd hours and there’s always Air Canada’s service in Delhi if you are prepared to pay the premium.
The outbound flight leaves at 3.00 am
The Air India flights between Delhi and Toronto commenced last week. The departure hour from Delhi is a challenging 03:00. The return flight is at a much more civilized hour.
Air India’s Delhi-Toronto-Delhi schedule is as follows;
With competitive fares and a large Indian population around Toronto, Air India can hopefully make a go of this route. The airline has been financially challenged for several years now but the Jet Airways’ collapse may give it some breathing space. In addition to Toronto, Air India is also starting direct flights to Doha, offering a more laidback and cost-effective alternative to the slick Qatar Airways product.
Simple Flying has approached Air India for a comment on their new service to Toronto but had received no response prior to publication.