As Australia reopens and demand surges, Qantas has announced another new international route from Melbourne to New Delhi from December 2021 as the airline returns to international skies.
There will be four flights a week from Melbourne to Delhi year-round.
Flights from Melbourne to Delhi will initially operate via Adelaide, while flights from Delhi to Melbourne will operate nonstop. Brisbane, Sydney, and Canberra will also have same-day connections.
The new route will become operational just in time for Christmas.
From December 22, QF69 will depart Melbourne at 09:25 every Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday for the flight to Delhi. An Airbus A330-200 will operate the service. The flight to Delhi operates via Adelaide.
This is the second direct connection with India, the airline has announced.
Earlier, a new Sydney Delhi route was announced which commences operation from the 6th December 2021.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the Sydney-Delhi route saw "the fastest booking surge for flights leaving Australia," which prompted the carrier to offer direct flights from Melbourne.
There hasn't been a direct Qantas flight between Melbourne and Delhi in almost a decade.
After years of benign neglect, Qantas is rediscovering India and has thus added two direct flights in quick succession. This is also in line with Prime Minister Scott Morrisons "India Strategy" as Australia aligns itself more closely with India and the Indo-Pacific.
What does this announcement mean for Kiwi Indians?
New Zealand and its airline have for long not discovered the multi-lateral benefits, the country will reap from a direct flight with India.
Auckland Airport has been actively batting for a direct flight and so has been the quarter million strong and thriving Indian Diaspora.
For now, Kiwi Indians will have to find solace in the increased connectivity between Australia and India. It is sincerely hoped that QANTAS will see the opportunity and add connecting trans tasman flights, thus enabling seamless connection for Kiwi Indians travelling to India via Australia.
Assuming Air India returns to Sydney and Melbourne soon after suspending flights last year, the two airlines will fight it out on the air corridor between Australia and India.
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