Air India to deploy 787 to Melbourne from October

Air India 787 awaiting delivery.
Air India 787 awaiting delivery. Photograph: AirSpace user Gloabl Ranger

Melbourne will be the first Australian city to receive scheduled 787 service when Air India deploys the aircraft on its new Delhi-Melbourne route in October.

“Direct flights to Australia are the top priority for us. The route will be profitable for Air India and is a key ingredient of the turnaround plan,”  an Air India official told Calcutta’s The Telegraph.

Air India’s eagerness is contrasted by Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan, who told the Australian this week that direct flights to India were a decade away.

Air India is also plans to deploy the 259-seat 787, in an undisclosed configuration, on North American routes, such as to New York and Toronto.

The article says “plans are in place” for daily flights to Melbourne from Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai, but it is not clear what the operational routing of the flight will be. Some international Air India routes have tag-on services to other domestic ports.

Air India over its saga of trying to serve Melbourne has mooted using Airbus A330 and, more recently, 777-300ER equipment. The 787 offers cost advantages over older aircraft, although with the aircraft overweight the exact advantage percentage is unknown. Deploying the 787 could suggest Air India needs the aircraft to achieve sufficient economics on the route.

Air India has 27 787 aircraft on order. This week Boeing brought a test aircraft to India for demonstration purposes.

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2 Responses to Air India to deploy 787 to Melbourne from October

  1. Will July 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    And AI better time it properly and follow the EK (Emirates) model of connections.

    AI will be making money selling the excess seats on MEL-DEL-LHR/CDG/FRA and what-ever else EU stations they have.

  2. Dasa July 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Agree with Will Only way AI can profit is by selling the 6th freedom traffic via DEL to EU points. It appears they are focusing more on selling DEL/MEL. There is not enough traffic year round support flight with 3rd and 4th freedom and without connecting traffic will lose money

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