Air India to launch Melbourne-Delhi service later this year

Air India will finally start direct flights to Melbourne from its hub in Delhi, after receiving clearance from the ministry of civil aviation. Very likely it may press its newest Boeing 777-300ER into service for the route.

The ministry had put on hold Air India's Delhi-Melbourne plans last December.

As the only direct flights between India and Australia, the new services are likely to be popular with business travellers from Australia and India.

The new routes will also open up options for travellers for connecting flights to the Middle East and Europe. Air India flies onwards to European destinations such as London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt.

In the MidEast it flies to Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Muscat in Oman and Kuwait City.

Air India is also planning to enter the Star Alliance airline network later this year, which will increase the number of connection options for business travellers.