The skies are about to become a little friendlier between Melbourne and Mumbai as Air India gears up to inaugurate its direct service from December. This move marks a significant milestone in aviation history, connecting two powerhouse cities that have long enjoyed a unique kinship.
Air India is no stranger to the Melbourne skyline. The airline already operates daily flights to Delhi but has decided to venture further with the addition of Mumbai to its itinerary. Starting 15 December, three weekly flights will operate between Melbourne and Mumbai using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft. As demand escalates, the frequency could go up, giving passengers increased flexibility.
Melbourne is a hot ticket for Indian visitors. The city claimed the title of Australia’s most-visited by Indian residents last financial year, boasting a staggering 433,000 arrivals in the 12 months leading up to June. It’s a significant feather in the cap of Melbourne Airport, Victoria’s international gateway, and the numbers speak for themselves.
In the wake of this announcement, Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation, Jim Parashos, emphasised the importance of open skies agreements. These policies have offered Air India the assurance required to promptly announce, sell, and launch the new route, sans the unpredictability often linked to bilateral agreements. Such agreements, Parashos suggests, are instrumental in allowing airlines the latitude to adapt to market demands, both for passengers and cargo.
Mumbai isn’t just any Indian city; it’s the financial heart of the nation, pumping economic lifeblood through its bustling streets and towering skyscrapers. Melbourne’s own data indicates that Mumbai represents the city’s largest international market currently bereft of direct flights. Thus, this new route is slated to be popular from the get-go, both for the Mumbaikars wanting a taste of Melbourne’s coffee culture and for Aussies keen on immersing themselves in Bollywood’s home turf.
It’s worth noting that Melbourne is a cultural mecca in its own right. Home to Australia’s largest Indian population, the city has substantial cultural ties with the subcontinent. This makes it the logical landing spot for travellers from India who have the larger expanses of Victoria and the rest of Australia on their itineraries.
Melbourne Airport has been experiencing a swell of Indian tourists in recent months. With this new non-stop service, it’s going to be easier than ever for families to reunite, students to seize educational opportunities, and tourists to delve into Victoria’s multifaceted offerings. Conveniently, Air India’s flights from Melbourne to Mumbai will depart at 8 pm, making it easy for travellers to optimise their time in either city.
It’s clear that this new route doesn’t just represent another pin on the departure board; it serves as a strong affirmation of the burgeoning ties between Australia and India. As both countries continue to gain prominence on the global stage, streamlined connectivity is essential, and this new service promises just that. A convenient departure time, robust aircraft, and the certainty offered by open skies agreements come together to make this one of the most anticipated route launches in recent times. So pack your bags, because the cultural and financial capitals of two great nations just got a little closer.
Air India’s flights from Melbourne to Mumbai will depart at 8pm.
For further information, please contact Melbourne Airport media on +61 3 9335 3666
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