Air India to launch direct flights to Vienna

Air India on Friday announced the launch of non-stop flight services to Vienna from New Delhi following the Austrian Airlines' decision to opt out of the route for unspecified reasons.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 19, 2016, 19:37 PM IST

New Delhi: Air India on Friday announced the launch of non-stop flight services to Vienna from New Delhi following the Austrian Airlines' decision to opt out of the route for unspecified reasons.

Starting from April 6, the national carrier would operate flights three times a week to the Austrian capital city, Air India Director for Commercial Pankaj Srivastava told reporters here.

The new route would be serviced by the 256-seater Dreamliner Boeing 787-800 plane with 18 business class seats and the rest in economy, he said.

"Air India has taken a conscious decision to grow further in the European market and operate as a dominant player on the (new) route," Srivastava said while announcing the new flight in the presence of Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani.

The government-run airline currently operates 58 flights from Delhi and Mumbai to seven major European destinations, of which 51 flights take off from the national capital.

Both Air India and Austrian Airlines, a subsidiary of German aviation major Lufthansa, are members of the global airlines' club Star Alliance.

"We are also in talks with the Austrian Airlines for operating code share flights as we aim to offer seamless connections to our passengers from New Delhi to 25 European cities beyond Vienna," Srivastava said.

Code-sharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless transport to multiple destinations where it has no presence.

The Austrian Airlines, which yesterday announced opting out of the route, currently operates five weekly service to Vienna and will continue till the first week of April.

As a standard practice, airlines generally first evaluate the viability of a new route with a feasibility study which may take about six months' time.