London: Air India will launch direct flights between Birmingham and New Delhi from August 1, with its new Boeing 787-800 'Dreamliner' aircraft, it was announced Monday.
The flights will operate four times a week - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving from Delhi into Birmingham at 1900 hours and departing to Delhi from Birmingham at 2130 hours.
According to a release, the 256 seat B787-800 series aircraft has a split cabin, consisting of 18 business class and 238 economy seats.
Martyn Lloyd, Commercial Director of Birmingham Airport, said: "This is fantastic news for our region and we're delighted that Air India has recognised the strong demand that lies in our catchment and will be operating the new Dreamliner aircraft on the route.
"There's been significant support from the city, and indeed the region, for a direct service to India and we're pleased to see that direct flights are now available on a brand new aircraft which will give passengers a fantastic experience. We also thank everyone involved who has worked tirelessly to make this happen, particularly our Brand Ambassador for Asian Markets, Uday Dholakia."
Dholakia, Birmingham Airport's Brand ambassador for Asian Markets, said, "I am repeatedly told by the Midlands Indian community that they want direct connectivity from their region to India to enhance trade and to reach family members easily, so this news will be greatly welcomed by business and leisure travellers. It will enhance trade, academic links and inward investment opportunities for the wider Midlands region.
"I congratulate the Airport team for their determination to secure the route and reaching this deal with Air India; they have never lost sight of the local need for the service. It is particularly great news that the brand new Dreamliner will be operated on the route and we urge agents and independent travellers to use the Birmingham-Delhi service going forward."
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner and it entered into commercial service in October last year.
According to Boeing, it is the company's most fuel-efficient airliner and the world's first major airliner to use composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe.
First Published: Monday, June 24, 2013, 08:53