UK carriers bmi and Virgin Atlantic Airways have each been granted traffic rights to the Indian market following agreement on a new bilateral deal.

However, both airlines are appealing against a scarce capacity review by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority that ruled in favour of splitting frequencies on the Mumbai route, with bmi granted four weekly flights and Virgin Atlantic three to India's largest city. Virgin has not discounted the possibility of co-operation with bmi out of London Heathrow on this route if the appeal fails. Virgin has also been awarded seven weekly flights to Delhi, a city it now serves through a codeshare with Air India forced on it by bilateral restrictions.

British Airways, previously the only UK carrier with Indian rights, will add four services to Chennai and three to Bangalore under the new deal, which also provides Air India with expanded fifth freedom rights from the UK.


Source: Airline Business