Air India Cancels Newark To London Flight

Filed Under: Air India

In August 2016, Air India launched a new route between London Heathrow and Newark. I guess it was actually technically a service resumption, because years ago Air India flew from Delhi to London to New York JFK.

With this new service, the airline launched a new one-stop route between Ahmedabad and Newark, though they had pick-up and drop-off rights in London.

The route is operated 3x weekly using a Boeing 787, so it’s a rather fun way to fly between Newark and London, given that the airline often has reasonable fares. It’s also Air India’s only route to the US featuring the 787, which features the best business class product they have.


Air India’s 787 business class

Unfortunately it looks like this route will be coming to an end. While Air India will maintain their Ahmedabad to London flight, they’ll be discontinuing their London to Newark flight as of November 16, 2018.

Instead the airline will be using their Heathrow slots to launch a new 3x weekly flight between Bangalore and London Heathrow, which will operate with the following schedule:

AI177 Bangalore to London departing 5:25AM arriving 11:05AM
AI178 London to Bangalore departing 1:00PM arriving 4:00AM (+1 day)

With this change, Air India will fly to London Heathrow from four destinations in India (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai).

This adjustment seems pretty logical to me. Air India can be competitive in markets where they’re the only airline flying nonstop, since people value the convenience. But the Ahmedabad to Newark flight had a stop, and if you’re going to stop anyway, there are a number of other airlines you could fly between the two cities with a better product.

So while I’m a fan of fifth freedom flights, a new London to Bangalore flight makes a lot more sense to me, even if they are competing head-to-head with British Airways’ daily 777 flight in the market.

What do you  make of Air India discontinuing their London to Newark flight?

Comments
  1. It’s also Air India’s only route to the US featuring the 787 ? They fly the 787 nonstop from DEL to IAD

  2. Actually there are not very many 1-stops AMD-EWR. The two I can think of (on the same carrier) are EK AMD-DXB-EWR and SQ AMD-SIN-EWR. Both have 16+hr layovers.

  3. @Ram, DEL – IAD has always been operated by B77W, Air India’s 787-8 doesn’t have enough range to operate non-stop from Delhi to DC. (Air India carries cargo on their US flights more than the specified limit of 787-8. Hence, the reduction in their Dreamliner overall range. You can check their website for more details: http://www.airindia.in/b787-dreamliner.htm)

  4. The AMD flight from London is great! Mainly because United and AC have multiple flights a day to LHR from all of their hubs… but I can never find a connecting flight that is UA from Chicago to London that connects to Air India to AMD.

    It’s a compelling one stop to AMD that still allows me to earn United miles (compared to EK, EY, Qatar) despite having to fly Air India

  5. Hey Lucky,
    The loads on the EWR-LHR segment has been terrible- check out this link (http://dgca.nic.in/reports/Traffic-ind.htm) to see the AMD-LHR numbers and compare them to the LHR-EWR numbers! Unsurprisingly, if you look at the initial press releases for this flight, it was largely done for political reasons. Go figure. #AirIndia

  6. One less AI flight in EWR thank god, my part of NJ has become over run thanks to chain migration. Now if they can stop landing on RT 1 in CNJ
    That would be a win win!

  7. SP, the flight had 71-85% load factor. You only accounted for 5th freedom pax and not AMD-EWR pax.
    Arressni, there is still an option to travel via BOM

  8. @matt…if they stop landing in CNJ then start saying goodbye to

    Good schools (school with higher rate of asians have higher test scores)

    Low crime rates (look up CNJ rates)

    Decent economy (majority of business’s are owned/operated by us)

    Diversity (not that someone like you would care)

    – Indian living in CNJ and studied in HS, College in CNJ. So

    As for the aviation post. Ill be disappointed . AI 787 biz class is far better! AI has made it relatively easy to do paid upgrade at the airports ($1000) or less at times! So will miss this route. Hopefully United Starts offering connections via LHR.

  9. I was on the AI Flight from Newark to London last month on October 11th and it was great. The convenience of that Flight was conducive to my schedule and the cost was worth it too. I loved the crew esp. Ravish. Very Pleasant. AI: Please make a direct flight from JFK TO MUMBAI IN THIS CENTURY. THANKS.

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