Air India's first Dreamliner touches town in the subcontinent last year (Image: The Hindu)

Air India’s first Dreamliner touches town in the subcontinent last year (Image: The Hindu)

Air India is to start flights to Australia next month, the first time India’s national airline has flown to the island nation in 16 years.

News.com.au reported earlier this month that Air India will utilise its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the route, which will fly to Sydney and Melbourne from New Delhi.

On four days of the week the daily flights will operate directly to Sydney, then onwards to Melbourne before returning to India. On the other three days of the week, flights will touch down in Melbourne first before flying back via Sydney. The triangular routing reflects the high concentration of Indians in Australia’s two largest cities.

Economy class on board Air India's Dreamliner (Image: Australian Business Traveller)

Economy class on board Air India’s Dreamliner (Image: Australian Business Traveller)

The 787 Dreamliner makes use of cutting edge technology to improve passenger comfort and minimise fuel wastage, meaning the aircraft can fly very long distances without the need to refuel. Air India has seven Dreamliners in its fleet and is using them to start new routes to Europe, and to reinvigorate existing routes. However the Dreamliner has suffered a series of setbacks, including a development process running late by several years, and at least two on-board fires caused by lithium batteries. Neither incident involved Air India.

According to Newstrack India, Australia’s High Commissioner in Delhi Bernard Philip said that “the direct Air India flights are yet another example of the strength in the Australia-India relationship, and the rapidly expanding people-to-people links between our two countries”.

The flights are due to begin operation on 29th August 2013, and Air India is taking bookings for the service on its website.

Comments (2)

  • Fay Blight Reply

    Does Air India fly within India? Also is the only destination in India from Melbourne or Sydney to New Delhi? The pictures of the interior of the Dreamliner certainly look impressive. It looks as though there is quite a bit of legroom. Not sure if it is the angle from which the photo is taken. Also great just having the two seats along the windows!

    July 23, 2013 at 5:13 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Yes, Air India fly within India too. In fact as the national airline, they fly to more cities within India than any other carrier. New Delhi is the only direct destination, but they will offer quick connections to domestic flights, so Sydney – Delhi – Chennai all in one day is possible. The real benefit here is not having to transit through an airport in Southeast Asia, for example, Singapore.

      The Dreamliner is designed to fly very long distances non-stop, so Boeing has designed the interior with that in mind – more space and light etc makes it more bearable for the passengers. That said, it is the airline’s decision how many seats they cram in – and if these pictures are anything to go by, Air India are doing the right thing. Thanks for reading!

      July 23, 2013 at 6:17 am

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