Air India, one of the top choices for booking flights to India, is planning to increase operations for the forthcoming summer schedule. India’s flag carrier is likely to take its number of flights to over 400 from 380, as per a report.

India’s flag carrier, Air India has formulated plans to harvest more revenues from profitable routes.

According to a report published in a major Indian daily, the struggling Air India is planning to increase operations for the upcoming summer schedule (beginning April). The expanded operations will take the airline’s number of flights to over 400 from the current 380.

Apart from launching new international flights, the Indian carrier will also kick start operations on the low-cost model on routes served solely by budget airlines in a bid to increase the market share.

From the month of April, Air India will commence for the first time daily flights between Vizag and Dubai via Hyderabad. Flights to India connecting Delhi will also be operated to and from Bahrain via Abu Dhabi.

In addition, the number of Delhi-Tokyo flights will be enhanced to five weekly flights from the current four weekly services. The airline also plans to make Delhi-Dammam flight a daily operation from twice a week at the moment.

The report quoted a senior AI official as saying: “The new introductions and the launch of low cost operations on some domestic routes will help the airline generate better revenues.”

The airline is also looking to tap into the low-budget travel market by serving customers who look for cheap flights to India. Air India, considered by many as one of the popular choices for booking flights to India, has set the ball rolling by trimming down business class seats from some of its fleet aircraft in an attempt to align itself more with the low-cost business model and to boost its revenues by offering more cheap flights.

“As the market is moving the low cost way the occupancy in economy class has been growing, while that in business class has been on the decline. We are not exiting the business class segment but aligning ourselves to the demands of the market,” said the official.

However, Air India’s plans to initiate more routes in Europe, the US and Australia faced a stumbling block as the delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner got delayed. The airline may begin these routes in the winter schedule, as per reports.

787 Dreamliner is touted as world’s most fuel efficient aircraft and the 250-seater is expected to be delivered to Air India by May this year.

‘Dreamliner’ Lands in India

Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday after making a 14-hour non-stop flight from Seattle, USA.

“We’re proud to bring the world’s most advanced commercial airplane to India, especially when it proudly displays the colours of national flag carrier Air India,” Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific and India Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, was quoted in news reports.

“This week even more of our airline customers will experience the game-changing technologies and innovations the 787 has to offer,” he continued.

Air India has been waiting for the aircraft with a bated breath. Being an extremely fuel efficient aircraft, 787 Dreamliner will not only help the airline to cut down fuel costs, it also might enable the carrier to roll out tickets on cheap flights to India for the travellers.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be on static display in New Delhi before debuting at the India Aviation 2012 in Hyderabad on March 14.

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