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Air India to make Mumbai its secondary hub

Boeing providing technical support for 787 snags, says AI

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai: 

Air India to make Mumbai its secondary hub

Air India will make Mumbai its secondary hub, adding new flights and offering better connections through the airport’s terminal 2 (T2). The move would enable Air India to grow its transfer traffic and increase revenue. Air India operates 63 flights out of Mumbai, which includes 11 international ones. It moved its headquarters and hub to Delhi a few years ago and offers more non-stop connections to Europe, US, Australia and Russia from Delhi. On Thursday, Air India moved its domestic operations in Mumbai to T2. Vistara is the only other domestic airline operating from T2. “Till a few years ago, the only hubs in the region were in Dubai or Singapore. We have been able to develop our own hub at Delhi. Now, we have about 5,000 transfer passengers daily at Delhi. We expect to replicate the same in Mumbai.

In the next few years, we hope to have 3,000 passengers taking transfers at Mumbai,” said commercial director Pankaj Srivastava. The shift of operations will, however, increase Air India’s operating costs. Operating costs at T2 would be 10-15 per cent higher than at terminal 1A. Air India is yet to induct six Boeing 787s of a 27 aircraft order. It had, earlier this week, decided to take delivery of three Boeing 777-300ERs, which it originally ordered in 2005 but deferred the induction. Air India is also said to be exploring flights between Ahmedabad-London and from Delhi to Copenhagen and Stockholm. “We are looking at new routes and improving aircraft utilsation,” chairperson Ashwani Lohani stated. ALSO READ: Air India to start direct flight of Delhi-San Francisco from Dec 2

Mark Schwab, chief executive officer of Star Alliance was the guest on the occasion on Thursday and according to him the shift of Air India's domestic operations to T2 will

provide easier connections and seamless transfers to passengers. Star Alliance is a 27 member global airline alliance and eleven of the airlines including Air India operate to Mumbai.

Air India is yet to induct six Boeing 787s out of its 27 aircraft order and has earlier this week decided to take delivery of three Boeing 777-300ERs which it originally ordered in 2005 but deferred the induction. The airline is said to be exploring flights between Ahmedabad-London and from Delhi to Copenhagen and Stockholm.

"We are looking at new routes and improving on time performance and aircraft utilsation," the airline's chairperson Ashwani Lohani stated.

The airline management is also discussing issues like repeated snags in Boeing 787 with the US plane maker. "There are teething problems in the aircraft type. Boeing is supporting us. We have 21 planes in the fleet and excluding 2-3 all of the planes are in operation. We have loads of 75-80 percent on Boeing 787 routes and the aircraft has enable us to generate cash profit because of fuel efficiency," airline's director (finance) S Venkat said.

First Published: Fri, October 02 2015. 00:09 IST
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