Air India are planning to launch a couple of curious new routes in the coming weeks.
First off is Chennai to Paris.
Next up is a weekly service between Hyderabad and… somewhere in London. Whether it will be Heathrow or Stansted, who knows (it’s Heathrow).
Paris, and indeed the rest of France has been flirting with various lockdowns for many weeks now. I understand that families and businesses may need the travel without connections. But it still seems to be interesting timing to be launching a new route.
Likewise for the London route. Especially seeing as Boris Johnson has only today cancelled a planned trip to India. This was due to the Covid rates in India hitting 200,000 cases per day.
As such, India looks highly likely to be put on to the UK’s red list of arrivals. This means that anyone arriving from India, should it be put on to the red list will have to pay at least £1750 for a 10 day hotel quarantine. There are a few exceptions to this, although in general, you won’t get around it.
Many other airlines between the UK and red list countries have at best majorly cut back their services. Most have halted flights all together.
And yet Air India are hoping to launch a flight between India and the UK. I highly suspect that at least the London flight won’t happen. At least this year. Of course, it could be a cargo service, but Air India’s advertising makes it fairly clear you can actually book these flights.
Curiously, the advertisement states that the flights run every Monday. Yet the stated launch date in the Tweet, the 9th May is a Sunday.
Sure enough, it’s the 10th of May that the first flight is scheduled to operate.
Where as when it comes to booking the return, the flight departs at 09:45 on the Sunday,
Some 21 hours 45 minutes before the inbound aircraft arrives. Of course, they could rotate the aircraft from another route to operate back to Hyderabad.
Therefore I will be very surprised if the London route actually launches.