Air India receives go-ahead for Melbourne flights

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Air India has received approval from Indian authorities to begin flights to Melbourne, and is looking at starting flights to Sydney.

The airline will operate daily between New Delhi and Melbourne, using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, says an Air India spokesman.

He could not say when the flights will begin, but it is understood that Air India plans to launch the service on 28 June.

Air India initially planned to launch the service last November but failed to do so when it did not receive the traffic rights.

The airline, which says that Melbourne will be its 34th international destination, says it is now looking at beginning a service to Sydney.

"Air India is planning to add more international destinations to its operations. In Australia, the other destination being looked at is Sydney," says the spokesman.

The airline will be the only carrier operating between New Delhi and Melbourne, according to schedules in Innovata.