Air India starts direct flights from Ahmedabad to London
Dec 15, 2015: Flag Carrier Air India commenced the first ever direct flight from Ahmedabad, the economic and industrial hub of Gujarat to London. The inaugural flight took off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad at 0430 hrs.
Flight AI 131, a B-787 Dreamliner aircraft took off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport with 247 passengers at 0430 hours. A special cake was cut to celebrate the occasion and passengers were presented with a rose bud each at the time of check-in.
“Today is an auspicious day. I would like to congratulate who are travelling for the first time from this flight and staff of Air India,” said Saurabh Patel, minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation.
Sanjeev Chhajer, vice president, Cox & Kings, said, “This is a great initiative by Air India. There will be tremendous growth in passenger traffic from this flight.”
The flight will not only be beneficial for leisure travellers, but many corporates will also benefit hugely with the direct flight from Ahmedabad.
“This flight has given great connectivity to corporate travellers and we wish all the best to Air India,” said Suresh B V, executive vice president - directors' Office, Cadila Pharmaceuticals.
Expressing delight and excitement on Air India’s direct flight from Ahmedabad, a couple said, “We feel very special with the welcome ceremony given to us by Air India. We are excited to fly on a Dreamliner with Air India and knowing that we were the first passengers to check in on this flight has increased our joy and excitement”.
This flight is the fifth frequency as Air India already operates four frequencies to London – three from Delhi and one from Mumbai. The daily flight is likely to hugely benefit the 1.5 million-strong Indian diaspora living in Britain. Catering to the strong demand of more than 6 lakh Indians from the state of Gujarat, the passengers travelling by the direct flight will not need to change aircraft at Mumbai.
The flight will operate daily with a B-787 Dreamliner aircraft, on the route Ahmedabad-Mumbai-London-Mumbai-Ahmedabad. AI-131 will take off from Ahmedabad at 0430 hrs to arrive Mumbai at 0545 hrs, leave Mumbai at 0705 hrs and land at London at 1130 hrs. On the return leg flight AI-130 will leave London at 1330 hrs, arrive at Mumbai at 0400 hrs next day, and depart from Mumbai at 0530 hrs to land at Ahmedabad at 0645 hrs.