Air India Adds Doha Flights, Plans UK Resumption

The expansion of service to Qatar from three Indian cities coincides with the forthcoming FIFA World Cup.

Credit: Joe Pries

Air India is ramping up its schedule to Qatar during November and December to help meet demand from migrant workers and soccer fans heading to the FIFA World Cup.

Twenty new flights per week will be introduced from Oct. 30, connecting Mumbai (BOM), Hyderabad (HYD) and Chennai (MAA) with Qatar’s capital Doha (DOH).

Thirteen flights per week will operate from Mumbai, four from Hyderabad and three from Chennai. These will be in addition to the existing daily Delhi (DEL)-Doha service

“Over the past few months, we have been working closely with our partners to return aircraft to service which has resulted in these additional flights,” Air India CCO Nipun Aggarwal said.

The additional connectivity to Qatar follows Air India’s addition of 24 new flights on its domestic network last month. This includes two new frequencies on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Bengaluru (BLR) and Mumbai-Chennai routes.

According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, Air India is also restoring an international connection to the UK in October. Service between Delhi and Birmingham (BHX) will return on Oct. 2 using Boeing 787-8 aircraft. Flights will take place on Fridays and Sundays.

In addition, the carrier’s exiting 1X-weekly Amritsar (ATQ)-Birmingham route will switch from operating once a week on Fridays to a 2X-weekly service on Mondays and Saturdays.

Air India was acquired in January by conglomerate Tata Group, which already owned majority stakes in Vistara and domestic operator AirAsia India. The group is now working to increase cooperation between Air India, Air India Express and AirAsia India and last week announced plans to consolidate workspaces across the companies.

“The consolidation of many premises under one roof, and the evolution from a regionalized to centralized structure, is a significant milestone in Air India’s transformation journey,” Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said.