Air India (AI, Delhi International) will add another UK destination to its network ahead of the 2023 Northern Hemisphere winter, announcing the start of flights between London Gatwick and Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Goa Dabolim, and Kochi International from March 26, 2023. According to an Air India statement, B787-8 aircraft will operate thrice weekly roundtrip frequencies across all four routes where the airline will enjoy sole operator status.

"This is part of the airline’s ongoing endeavour to spread its wings on the international aviation map, hence, increasing its market share on international routes," reads the statement. "The robust enhancement of operations is one of the major pillars of Air India’s transformational roadmap."

Air India presently flies to Birmingham, GB from Amritsar and Delhi and London Heathrow from Amritsar, Delhi International, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad International, Goa, and Kochi. Four other airlines - British Airways, Air Canada, Vistara, and Virgin Atlantic, also offer scheduled passenger flights between the two countries. According to ch-aviation capacities data, British Airways now offers 38.12% of the weekly available seats, followed by Air India at 33.58%, Virgin Atlantic at 17.11%, Vistara at 5.6% and Air Canada at 5.58%. Notably, Tata Sons owned Air India and Vistara are expected to merge within 12 months.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate says the new Air India flights are good news for the airport and offers "a wealth of opportunities for businesses and wider connectivity." Gatwick is the UK's second busiest airport. Forty-three airlines fly in, offering flights to 201 destinations in 67 countries. However, ahead of Air India's arrival, there are no direct links to any airports in India or elsewhere across South Asia.

Air India also said it would lay on additional frequencies to London Heathrow this northern summer, with roundtrip flights from Delhi increasing from 14 to 17 a week and roundtrip flights from Mumbai increasing from 12 to 14