India’s flagship carrier Air India has boosted its capacity in the Dubai to Delhi sector, the airline announced Thursday.
A total of 18 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners and one narrow-body Airbus will be operating between these two destinations, PP Singh, regional manager of Gulf, Middle East and Africa for Air India and Air India Express confirmed to Khaleej Times.
The new flight schedule was launched on Wednesday, June 29. “The first flight took off on Wednesday morning,” said Singh.
AI 0930 will depart from Dubai at 11.10am and arrive in Delhi at 4pm. The flights will operate on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
AI 0996 and AI 0916 will operate on all days of the week departing at 12.05am and 8.40pm respectively. A fourth flight, AI 0956, will operate every Monday, departing at 6.55pm.
"A total of 246 passengers travelled to Delhi from Dubai on Wednesday, and Thursday's flight is sold out after 256 passengers purchased tickets. The minimum one-way fare for an economy ticket is Dh1,130 and business class fares are at Dh 2,030," said Singh.
“Before Wednesday, only 14 Dreamliners were operating between both sectors. Earlier, we had departures to Delhi only during the evenings and late evening time. With the addition of these morning flights, we are seeing robust demand and bookings between these two destinations,” he explained.
“The flights were launched to meet with the rising demand for vacation travel to Delhi and nearby sectors,” added Singh.
The airline said it is seeing encouraging responses and bookings on their wide-body aircrafts are available until October 2022. The same schedule of flights would be available well after the summer holidays as well, said Singh.
“Moreover, the Boeing Dreamliner is a product that is liked by all and Air India offers more value for money compared to several other international carriers. The flights are also offering attractive fares and convenient onward connections,” he added.
Singh said the holiday travel demand from UAE to India has already begun as most schools close for the summer holidays today (Thursday, June 30). “The demand for travel to India at the moment is very high at the moment. The demand drops down only after mid-July,” he stated.
Ticket prices for UAE- India travel have skyrocketed starting July 1. The current price for one ticket to Delhi stands at approximately Dh 1,555 to Dh 1,729, depending on the destination. However, according to Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels, the ticket prices to India are the highest on the Kerala sector. While a one-way ticket to Kochi is Dh1,800 to Dh2,060 to Kochi on July 1, for example.
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