Air India, a top option for flights to India, is all set to offer direct flights between India and Australia. The state-run carrier is going to operate the route with the new 787 Dreamliner, first of which is set to be delivered in this month.

Travellers who often fly between India and Australia would be delighted to know that Air India is all set to start off direct flights between the countries from as early as September.

India’s national carrier will offer direct connections to both Melbourne and Sydney. Reportedly, both cities have been competing for the exclusive right to have the planes land at their airports.

Reports in Australian media suggest that the state-run Air India will ply the 787 Dreamliner on the route. The airline will take the delivery of its first plane of the new fleet of Dreamliners from Boeing this month. The Indian aviation industry is hopeful that the new fuel-efficient, long-haul aircraft will offer a lifeline to the struggling carrier.

Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and board member of Air India, Prashant Sukul, is quoted in media reports as saying: “We are now looking at our winter schedule of this year, which begins at the end of September. We missed the summer schedule, commencing April, for the simple reason we didn’t have any indication of when the (Dreamliner) planes were coming.”

Air India, still considered by many as premier option for making reservations on flights to India, has been given the permission by India’s aviation ministry to fly to Australia. Victorian and NSW governments have also offered considerable concessions to Air India in a bid to attract the Indian carrier.

Direct air service between the two countries is likely to promote tourism, trade and business between the nations, something mentioned by Mr Sukul. He also said that long-haul flights is a part of AI’s plans to make Delhi’s international airport a regional hub and offer a convenient transit point for Australians taking flights to Europe.

Mr Sukul did not fail to notice that despite large numbers of Indians working and studying in Australia, the land of kangaroos remained a “blip on the radar” for many on the subcontinent. With multiple services in a week, travel buffs might just be able to net tickets on cheap flights to India from Australia and vice versa.

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