Air India is planning to operate non-stop flights on the Chennai-London route from January next year, making Tamil Nadu's capital the ninth city to be connected with the British capital. Air India is currently operating non-stop flights to London from Delhi (seven flights a week), Mumbai (four flights a week), Kochi (three flights a week), Ahmedabad (two flights a week), Bengaluru (two flights a week), Goa (two flights a week), Kolkata (one flight a week) and Amritsar (one flight a week), an airline spokesperson told PTI.
Asked how has been the occupancy rate in its London flights after the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the spokesperson said the "load factors have been generally good". "Some of the stations like Delhi, Kochi, Goa and Ahmedabad have seen quite a heavy demand (for London flights)," the spokesperson said.
"We have plans to commence direct operations between Chennai and London from January, 2021," the spokesperson said. Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, airlines have been permitted to operate special international flights under the Vande Bharat Mission since May and under the bilateral air bubble pacts since July. Flights between India and the UK have been operating under an air bubble pact only post the lockdown.