Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport was abuzz with excitement as Air India launched its inaugural direct flight from Melbourne to Mumbai. The event was a vibrant affair with music, dance, and traditional celebrations that marked a significant milestone in aviation and cultural exchange between India and Australia.
It’s the first time in more than 40 years an airline has provided a non-stop service between Mumbai and Australia. These Air India flights will operate three times a week and add 40,000 seats per year to Victoria.
The occasion was graced by the presence of Bronwyn Halfpenny, Victorian Member of Parliament, Indian Consul General Sushil Kumar, Sumeet Gosain, Head International Sales Air India, Jim Parashos, Chief of Aviation Melbourne Airport and Ram Chhabra, CVFR group who participated in the ceremonial lamp-lighting ritual symbolising enlightenment and the journey’s safe passage. The dignitaries then cut the ribbon, officially declaring the new service open.
Speaking at the event, Indian Consul General Sushil Kumar highlighted the importance of the new air route, noting that it would serve as a bridge between the Indian and Australian economies, enhancing trade, tourism, and people-to-people relations.
“Indian Diaspora in Melbourne is the largest in Australia and this flight will help connect the Southern part of India directly with Victoria to enhance trade, education and tourism sectors.”
MP Bronwyn Halfpenny echoed these sentiments, expressing enthusiasm for the opportunities that the new service will bring to the region.
“This new route will boost tourism, create local jobs and open more pathways for Victorian businesses to reach one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”
Passengers boarding the maiden flight were treated to an atmosphere of jubilation as cultural performers showcased Bollywood dances, creating a festive mood.
The sounds of ‘Jai Ho’ echoed through the terminal, providing a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage that passengers are about to experience upon their arrival in Mumbai.
The new direct flight route by Air India is seen as a significant development for strengthening ties between India and Victoria. It provides a direct link for business and leisure travellers, facilitating easier access and fostering closer connections between the two vibrant cities.
The launch of the Melbourne to Mumbai flight comes at a time when travel demand is rebounding, and the direct connection is expected to be a popular choice for the large Indian community residing in Melbourne, as well as Australian travellers keen to explore India.
The inaugural flight signifies the strengthening of bilateral relations and the shared commitment to enhancing global connectivity and cultural exchange. As Air India’s aircraft soared into the skies, it carried with it the hopes and aspirations of further uniting the Indian and Australian communities through the spirit of travel and discovery.
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