British Airways has doubled its flights out of India as the government further eases its capacity caps. Starting this Monday, BA is flying 20 weekly flights from five cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. The Indian government has offered British carriers 34 weekly flights from India, with the remaining 14 going to Virgin Atlantic.
According to The Times Of India, British Airways has unveiled its new schedule from India, weeks before the lucrative university travel season kicks in. The decision also comes after India further increased weekly flights from the UK from 30 to 60 and now 68 every week. India’s move to the amber list has prompted a wave of travel in August, leaving passengers scrambling for limited seats.
British Airways has secured rights for 20 weekly flights out of India, flying from all five of its destinations. New Delhi will see daily flights through August before dropping to five times a week in September. Mumbai will see five weekly flights through the next two months.
Bangalore will also see five weekly flights in August before dropping to just two in September. Hyderabad will have three flights every week, and Chennai will only see services resume in September with twice-weekly flights.
While this is a far cry from the 56 weekly flights British Airways flew from India in 2019, which included multiple daily services from New Delhi and Mumbai, it still marks a major recovery for the airline after a tough winter and spring. In January, BA could only fly 10 weekly flights due to India’s restrictions.
In a statement, BA’s head of sales for South Asia, Moran Birger, said,
“It is wonderful to see connections between India and London being restored after months of uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. These additional new flights will allow our Indian customers, who have waited so patiently, to reunite with their loved ones. The flights also provide new travel options for Indian students wishing to travel to the UK and beyond for further studies, ahead of the start of a new academic year.”
However, it’s not just British Airways that is upping its flights with the government’s easing. The remaining 14 flights given to UK carriers are going to Virgin Atlantic, which bringing back its daily services from New Delhi and Mumbai. This means Virgin has only lost seven flights compared to 2019, when it had two daily flights from Delhi.
Indian airlines have been making good use of their 34 flights too. Vistara is now operating four weekly 787-9 flights from Delhi to London Heathrow. Air India is making a big splash in the UK market as it did in 2020 too. The flag carrier will operate flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Bangalore in the next month.
Overall, traffic between the UK and India is finally rebounding. As cases in both countries continue falling and demand skyrockets, expect to see airlines taken advantage of any restriction easings that occur in the future too.
What do you think about airlines ramping up UK and India routes? Let us know in the comments!