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Air India starts Delhi-Sydney flight after 22 years



Updated On - Friday, 30 August 2013

29 August 2013

NEW DELHI: After a gap of 22 years,Australia got a direct connection from India with Air India launching its daily direct flight toSydney and Melbourne from today. 

The flight had over 60 domestic transfer passengers and more than 40 international transit passengers, of whom more than 20 were from London. 

With this, Delhi has positioned itself as premier hub airport of South Asia offering convenient connections to travellers on the ultra-long-haul Europe-Australia sectors. 

"Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport is now connected to Australia with the launch of Air India's daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne. Air India's first flight to Sydney took off this afternoon after a gap of 22 years," said a spokesperson of Delhi International Airport limited (DIAL). 

DIAL CEO, I Prabhakara Rao, said the service was long- awaited and Air India has now connected not only the two countries but the two continents. 

"Sydney has continuously ranked amongst our top five potential destinations that needed connectivity. With the advent of a non-stop service to Sydney aboard Air India's Dreamliner, we are convinced that the market will only grow", Rao said. 

Air India's daily direct service would be operated with a 256-seater Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner. 

"India is Australia's largest unserved market. Last year, around 1.40 lakh passengers travelled between Delhi and Sydney via Asian hubs. Sydney has Australia's highest number of residents with Indian - with 2.17 lakh people of Indian descent, 88,000 of whom were born in India - so there is strong demand for direct services between India and Sydney," Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather said.

Published by: The Economic Times

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