In a landmark move, Air India announced that it will commence non-stop flights from Melbourne to Mumbai for the first time.
Air India has confirmed that it will operate the groundbreaking route starting from December 15th, initially offering three flights per week with the possibility of increasing frequency based on demand.
The new service will be operated using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft and is set to supplement Air India’s existing daily flights between Melbourne and Delhi.
Melbourne Airport, which saw more Indian visitors than any other Australian city in the last financial year, aims to further boost its connectivity with the subcontinent.
“In recent months, Melbourne Airport has seen record numbers of Indian visitors traveling through its terminals,” said Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos.
“This new service will make it even easier for families to reconnect or for tourists and students to explore our great state,”he added.
Open Skies Agreement
Parashos highlighted the role of open skies agreements in the initiation of the new route. “Australia and India have an open skies air services agreement, which has provided Air India the certainty they need to efficiently announce, put on sale, and launch these new flights without the uncertainty associated with bilateral agreements,” he explained.
He went on to add that such liberal bilateral agreements offer airlines the needed assurance to respond effectively to passenger and cargo demands, as they evolve.
Ties That Bind
Melbourne is home to Australia’s largest Indian population and shares substantial cultural ties with the country.
“Melbourne is the obvious gateway for travelers from the subcontinent wanting to explore Victoria and beyond,”Parashos said.
According to Melbourne Airport data, Mumbai, India’s financial capital, currently stands as Melbourne’s largest international market without non-stop flights. “We expect this service to be very popular in both directions,” Parashos added.
Air India’s flights from Melbourne to Mumbai will depart at 8 p.m. This addition is likely to further solidify Melbourne’s status as a key international hub and may pave the way for even more intercontinental connections in the future.
With the start of this new service, Melbourne Airport continues its endeavor to be a leading global gateway, ever enhancing its network and connecting communities across continents.
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