As Air India continues to expand its network and fleet sustainably, the airline is certainly en-route to take on some of the largest foreign players in India’s international market in the upcoming years.
Since the takeover by the Tata Group, the airline under it’s new leadership has substantially expanded it’s international network and strengthened presence in various markets, including the India-European market.
In the past 15 months of being privatized, Air India has added about 5 new (re-introduced) non-stop scheduled routes between India & Europe, including,
● Delhi-Amsterdam (From June 2023)
The airline in addition to this also increased frequencies on several existing routes, including the Amritsar-Birmingham, Delhi-London Heathrow and Mumbai-London Heathrow.
Air India during this time period also launched London Gatwick as it’s 3rd base in the UK after London Heathrow & Birmingham, with 12x weekly non-stop services to the secondary cities of Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Goa and Cochin. (Routes Shifted From London Heathrow).
As of now, the airline operates 14* non-stop scheduled routes between India & Europe from 6 Indian cities, offering upto 77 weekly departing flights. This equals to about 19,712 weekly departing seats.
While Delhi remains the top market for the airline for Europe with 48x weekly services, Mumbai takes the second spot with 14x weekly services and Amritsar the third with 6x weekly services.
On further analysis of Air India’s European network, it is interesting to observe that, the airline enjoys full-monopoly on 9 non-stop routes of the total 14 non-stop routes.
● Delhi-Birmingham (3x Weekly)
● Delhi-Milan (4x Weekly)
● Delhi-Vienna (3x Weekly)
● Delhi-Copenhagen (3x Weekly)
● Amritsar-Birmingham (3x Weekly)
● Amritsar-London Gatwick (3x Weekly)
● Ahmedabad-London Gatwick (3x Weekly)
● Goa-London Gatwick (3x Weekly)
● Cochin-London Gatwick (3x Weekly)
Despite these routes making up about 64% of Air India European network, the airline operates 28x weekly services on the above routes, accounting for only 36% of the total weekly departing flights.
The Delhi-London Heathrow routes remains the busiest for the airline with 17x weekly services, followed by Mumbai-London Heathrow wth 14x weekly services.
As more new generation and fuel-efficient aircraft are added into the fleet in the near future, it could be expected that the airline will spread its wings even wider across Europe, along with other markets as well.
Some of the potential routes that Air India could be looking at for further expansion in Europe may include Stockholm, Rome, Madrid, etc. While increasing the frequency of existing prime routes could be on the cards, too, including the Amritsar-Birmingham route.
*14th Non-Stop Route (DEL-AMS) From June 2023