Air India Plans Dreamliner Flights To Far East

Air India has revealed plans to send its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners to the Far East, with flights between Delhi, Hong Kong, Osaka and Seoul. The state-owned carrier currently boasts 2 aircraft which have received battery modifications, flying within India and internationally to London (Heathrow) since 22 May 2013. A further 4 jets are scheduled to become operational by the end of June 2013, allowing the airline to expand its operations.

Beginning 25 June 2013, flight AI 310 will operate twice weekly using the Dreamliner, expanding to all 4 flights each week from 15 August 2013. The service departs Delhi at 2315 hrs, arriving in Hong Kong at 0650 hrs the next morning, before continuing at 0805 hrs to Seoul, where the jet lands at 1230 hrs. The return flight, AI 317, takes off from Incheon International Airport at 1415 hrs and lands at Hong Kong International Airport at 1650 hrs. The flight takes off again from Hong Kong at 1805 hrs, arriving back at Indira Gandhi International Airport at 2110 hrs.

From 26 June 2013, Air India will also operate the Dreamliner on the AI 314 service, departing Delhi 3 times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 2315 hrs and arriving in Hong Kong at 0650 hrs the next day. The flight takes off again at 0805 hrs for Osaka (Kansai), arriving in the Japanese city at 1240 hrs. On the return leg, flight AI 315 departs Osaka at 1410 hrs to arrive in Hong Kong at 1650 hrs, before continuing onward to Delhi at 1805 hrs, landing back in the Indian capital at 2110 hrs.

Air India is touting improved comfort for passengers on both routes with the B787’s more spacious cabin, mood lighting and larger windows. The carrier’s aircraft are configured in a 2-class setup, with 18 full-flat Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 layout and 238 seats configured 3-3-3 in Economy Class.

With the aircraft’s superior operating economics, Air India is looking to utilize the Dreamliner to expand its network with new routes and destinations when it takes delivery of 8 more aircraft by the end of 2013. The airline plans to connect Delhi with Birmingham, Melbourne and Sydney from August 2013, Milan and Rome from October 2013 and Moscow in early 2014.

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