Will Air India take the trophy to launch Australia's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner service?
In recent years the Indian flag-carrier has made plenty of noise about resuming its flights to Australia, after a 16 year absence, but the airline now seems intent on coming back with a Boeing 787-sized bang.
Listings provided by Air India to the global distribution system (GDS) used by travel agents, and spotted by the AirlineRoute website, show a daily Boeing 787 service (tagged as AI312/311) between Delhi and both Sydney and Melbourne starting from August 29.
Three flights each week would run from Delhi direct to Melbourne, then back up to Sydney and onwards to Delhi.
On the other four days the Boeing 787 would fly from Delhi into Sydney, then continue to Melbourne, before heading back directly to Delhi.
The flights would leave Delhi around 1pm and reach their first Australian port in the early hours of the following morning; the the return journey would see a mid-morning departure from Sydney or Melbourne to reach Delhi around 6pm that day.
The split schedule matches that outlined by an Air India executive in mid-2012, when the airline flagged Boeing 787 flights from September that year.
"We are thinking of doing Delhi-Melbourne-Sydney three times [a week], and Delhi-Sydney-Melbourne four times or three times a week" said Prashant Sukul, an Air India board member and joint secretary of the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation, told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Air India currently has six Boeing 787s in its fleet with 21 still to be delivered.
Each is fitted out in a familiar layout employed by many 787 airlines, with 18 lie-flat business class seats arranged 2-2-2 and 238 economy seats with a 33 inch pitch ranked 3-3-3.
Other Boeing 787 news on Australian Business Traveller
- BA's Boeing 787 launch routes: Toronto, New York/Newark
- Perth gets set for Boeing 787 bonanza
- Air New Zealand reveals Boeing 787 routes, seating
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