National carrier Air India (AI) has rejigged its domestic flight operations for the winter schedule, that comes into effect this Saturday, and has also increased the frequency of its service to London’s Heathrow airport during the period.
As part of the winter schedule, the airline has also added capacity on certain routes by replacing Airbus A319s with A320s, among others.
AI will operate a third daily flight on the Delhi-London route from November 1, it said in a release here. It already operates two services per day on this route.
The state run-carriers fly daily to London from Mumbai as well.
AI has already announced the launch of a non-stop flight to San Francisco from December 2 as part of a move to expand international operations during winter.
The airline currently flies to and from New York, Chicago and Newark in the US.
Also, as part of the winter operations, it has restructured its 13 domestic transit flights and will now operate these flights without a stopover, it said.
According to the release, the Delhi-Mumbai-Coimbatore flight will now be operated as two separate flights on the Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Coimbatore sectors. Similarly, the Mumbai-Chandigarh flight will now operate as Mumbai-Delhi and Delhi-Chandigarh flights.
The airline said it has also changed the aircraft type from A319 to A320 on 18 sectors, while replacing A320 with A321 on six sectors and A319 with A321 on two sectors, thereby offering more capacity in these sectors.
To improve regional connectivity, AI will also commence flight services between Mumbai and Diu, which would be operated by its regional arm, Alliance Air, from October 26, it said, adding that the decision comes after the Union Territory administration evinced an interest in the airline’s proposal.
Alliance would operate a 72-seater ATR 72-600 on the said route, it said.
AI had approached various state governments and UTs to operate flights to tier-II and tier-III cities under Viable Gap Funding (VGF).
Other state governments have also shown interest and are in the process of finalising the terms of operations under the VGF route, the release said.
Meanwhile, AI also announced an extension of its “free ticket” offer, rolled out earlier for premium class passengers, to economy class fliers as well. AI’s economy class travellers also can avail the offers under the eSuperSaver scheme from next month.
The government-owned airline had in August last year announced a promotional single-user scheme for business class flyers on its select domestic sectors. The scheme is valid till March next year.