‘Travelers, travel agencies excited over the move’
Air India is all set to resume direct flight between India and Australia after a gap of nearly 16 years.
The National Carrier Air India will start its daily flights on a triangular route between Delhi, Sydney and Melbourne from August 29, using its new fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft, having a seating capacity of 256 including 18 in business class.
For four days a week the flights will be between Delhi-Sydney-Melbourne and remaining three days between Delhi-Melbourne – Sydney.
Direct flights will obviously help the travelers in travelling between both the countries who otherwise have to fly through different routes.
Since Air India stopped flying direct to Australia in 1997 in the face of rising corporate losses, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Singapore Airlines have carried the majority of India-Australia traffic, supported by other Asian airlines offering indirect services.
Singapore Airlines has been dominating the travel market between these countries for a long time.
Air India’s Commercial Director, Deepak Brara has affirmed that there had been long delays in starting the services to Australia again adding that it was mainly due to delay in the delivery of 787 Dreamliner Aircrafts and grounding facilities.
Brara said that the airlines wanted to split the direct services between Sydney and Melbourne so as to benefit both the cities with non-stop services.
Appreciating resumption of Air India services, the NSW Premier Barry O’ Farewell has stated that this new service will make traveling to Sydney easier thereby leading to substantial growth in the visitors from Delhi.
Direct flights between India and Australia were much awaited by the travelers. Direct flights between India and Australia were much awaited by the travelers. While talking to ‘The Indian Sun’ Abhishek Sonthalia, Director of Gaura Travels said, “It will increase the competition among the airlines in the Australian market. Travelers will have more choices and it will definitely benefit them in getting better traveling deals”.
Amit Sharma, State Manager CVFR Travel Group for Victoria and South Australia holds the same opinion. He said, “It will open the whole new world of opportunities for travelers as well as travel agencies. The introduction of this new airline will provide an opportunity to the travelers to fly directly to India”.
“There will be more options and capacity and the travelers will have comparative air fares. Air India is introducing Dreamliner aircrafts for this service which in itself will be a new experience for many”, adds Amit.
Though delayed, the Air India service is being seen as a positive development.
Mahendra K Lamsal, owner of Yeti Travels opines, “It will have a positive impact on the customers from sub-continent. As Air India will be providing direct flight; it will be more convenient for the travelers”.
Narender Bhullar, a frequent traveler to India said, “It is indeed a very good initiative to start a direct flight. It would be very convenient for elderly people to travel between Australia and India”.
“Generally the elderly people who come to visit their children from India face many problems while changing flights because of the language barrier but in direct flights they may have not to worry much. Direct flights will be more suitable for people with ‘physical problems,’ as this will end up the redundant hassle of changing flights”, she added.
“Even there will be more airlines to choose from, so in all it is a very good initiative,” said Narender.