Sydney airport has welcomed an announcement from Air India that it will begin a new nonstop service between Sydney and Delhi.
The four-times-weekly link will commence on May 17, 2015 and will be the only direct service between the two cities, taking over from the current Delhi – Sydney – Melbourne triangular flight, which the airline currently operates.
“India is one of Sydney Airport’s fastest growing markets so we’re pleased that this non-stop Sydney-India service will improve convenience for a growing number of passengers,” Sydney Airport managing director and chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said.
The new connection will depart from Sydney on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 09:45am, arriving into Delhi at 17:50pm.
The return flight will operate from the Indian capital city on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 13:25pm, arriving into Sydney the next day at 06:10am.
“Sydney has Australia’s highest number of residents with Indian ancestry so there’s strong demand for a non-stop service between India and Sydney. This Air India service provides one-stop access to all major Indian destinations, as well as the airline’s large network in the region and across Europe,” she added.
Air India will operate its brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, and the new nonstop service hopes to boost visitation from one of New South Wales’ most important markets.
The airline previously operated a four-times-weekly triangular flight which operated Delhi – Sydney – Melbourne and a three-times-weekly Delhi – Melbourne – Sydney flight, though Air India has tweaked the service to cut losses. Air India will now fly four times a week to Sydney and thrice to Melbourne.
The Sydney-Melbourne flight is 90 minutes and Air India does not have permission to sell seats on Australian domestic routes.
India is a rapidly growing source of visitors for New South Wales, and the new service between Sydney and Delhi will make it easier for tourists from both directions.
In the year end September 2014, NSW welcomed more than 67,000 visitors from India, with a visitor spend of approximately $192 million, and this new service will help ensure this visitation continues to grow,” said Stuart Ayres, New South Wales Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events.
For connections from Australia to the UK, Italy, Paris and Frankfurt with a stopover time of between eight and 24 hours in Delhi, Air India provides free hotel accommodation at Delhi Airport, with no visa required. Air India also offers free onward travel at no extra cost between Delhi and eleven Indian cities, and onward travel at a nominal cost to an additional 40 Indian cities.