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The Planned City. By Plan, By Plane. Mar'14

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:26 am    Post subject: The Planned City. By Plan, By Plane. Mar'14 Reply with quote

The Planned City. By Plan, By Plane. Mar'14


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14392.html

84.1 Introduction

I had had a Gwalior trip a few days prior to a Chandigarh trip.
The Gwalior trip was by train of course.
On landing up at Gwalior, as we drove past the
shops close to the station, I noticed a board on one shop, which
said `Child Bear'. Yes, I guess it right, since I had seen such
signs on highways in and around Delhi.
No, it was not Goldilocks land, or a place where baby bears abound.
No, it was not a maternity hospital, either.
It was simply an abode where North India's favourite light
alcoholic beverage was available. Chilled Beer.

At Gwalior, I had met up with a friend, and when two friends
meet, the `Child Bear' part is not that uncommon.
That night at Gwalior, as I looked up some options for my Chandigarh trip,
some (perhaps) alcohol-fuelled thoughts went around my mind.
Le Corbusier couldn't have been a busier man.
The irony of thinking about the great architect Le Corbusier,
when all boozed up, struck me as strange.

84.2 Some History

Chandigarh is by far, India's best planned city, by a large measure.
As I sat down to plan this trip out, memories of my previous
Chandigarh trips came flooding by. Chandigarh was my first ever
destination, at the age of three months: of course, what had come
flooding by was nowhere related to memories, at least mine,
though my parents would not have very pleasant memories of
keeping me in their lap for a very long time.

1981 had seen us visit Kulu and Manali. We had made this trip via
Chandigarh. We had taken an AC coach from the Inter-State Bus
Terminal (ISBT), Kashmere Gate, Delhi. I had been extremely
excited about this trip, since the bus tickets looked rather like
the Rajdhani Express tickets at that time. This was a luxury bus,
with a video show on board as well! I remember wearing my
favourite pair of jeans shorts, specifically for this trip. We
had stopped at Karna lake, had an ice cream there, watched the
movie, `DAkU aur mahAtmA' (the dacoit and the great soul).
Dacoit-based movies were the rage back then.
The reader should note that this was in the era when dacoits were
still rampant in the Chambal valley, and it would be a year
before Phoolan Devi and Malkhan Singh surrendered to the Government.
We stayed the night at the old CSIO guest house.
This trip had an aviation link, since we would set out in the
morning by the Indian Airlines HS-748 flight to Bhuntar airport,
Kulu. I have memories of the old passenger terminal at the
Chandigarh airport's civil conclave, with a clay Air India
Maharaja mascot in the centre of the waiting room. I remember the
hard-boiled sweets (toffees) served on board the plane, after we
were seated. Captain Suresh was in command. He executed the short
trip with perfection, and landed us very smoothly at Bhuntar.
I remember the tiny arrival hall, and raw almonds being available
for sale there. That was it as far as the aviation part went. We
came back by bus, from Kulu to Chandigarh, and by bus again, from
Chandigarh to Delhi, battered and bruised. Literally so, since a
suitcase fell on Mummy's head, inside the bus.

We had made a road trip to the place in 2004, and seen the places
of interest in and around Chandigarh. The rose garden, the
Legislature, the Sukhna Lake, the Rock Garden, Pinjore Gardens,
and the two nearby places, Solan and Kasauli.

My visits to the city by air, started in 2008.
Air India had a mid-day Chandigarh flight, something at around
02:40 pm, or so. The relevant portion of my flight log reads as follows:

2008
Set out 03 Jul (Thu) for Chandigarh from New Delhi
IT600: Kingfisher Airlines (A319) [PNR: KHIDKG]
New Delhi (DEL) - Chandigarh (IXC)
[09:10 am - 10:00 am]

Set out 04 Jul (Fri) for New Delhi from Chandigarh
IT7605: Kingfisher Airlines (A319) [PNR: LNGQFR]
Chandigarh (IXC) - New Delhi (DEL)
[05:40 pm - 06:30 pm]

2009
Set out 18 Jan (Sun) for Chandigarh from New Delhi
IT600: Kingfisher Airlines (A321) [Seat 30F, PNR: IXJBEG]
New Delhi (DEL) - Chandigarh (IXC)
[09:35 am - 10:25 am]

Set out 19 Jan (Mon) for New Delhi from Chandigarh
IT605: Kingfisher Airlines (A321) [Seat 30F, PNR: IYQTZR]
Chandigarh (IXC) - New Delhi (DEL)
[05:40 pm - 06:30 pm]

The interesting part of my Chandigarh trips in 2008 and 2009, was
that I was put up by my hosts in exactly the same guest house as
my parents had taken me when I was three months old, and
interestingly, in 2008, in the same room. This time, I
would be put up in the same guest house, which has been
completely renovated. I have some sweet memories of the food on
board these short Kingfisher Airlines flights, along with some
severe turbulence on 18 Jan 2009, some 10 minutes prior to coming
in to land at Chandigarh.

84.3 Setting the tone for the Chandigarh trip, on the forum

A few days earlier, member Rishul (me111993) had posted a lovely
trip report on the new Terminal 2 at CSIA, Mumbai, and his
experiences on two Air India wide-bodies from Chennai to Mumbai
(A332) and Mumbai to Ahmedabad (B77W).
This resulted in a lively discussion. This discussion is primarily
aviation-oriented, hence I have included this as the Appendix,
so that an un-interested reader may skip this part
without any loss of continuity with regard to the basic trip report itself.

Readers would remember the name of Mr. J. R. R. Talking,
my chatty friend from not Middle Earth, but Central
India, Bhopal, to be precise. He has a hobby of keeping track of
the movements of the planes in the Air India fleet.
Mr. Talking told me that two Dream)liners had gone tech, VT-ANL
and VT-ANO. I quickly texted him back saying, that the negativism
was right there in their names, they were the `annul' and the
`negation' planes, respectively. I had asked him about the newer A320s.
One of the new 320's does DEL-MAA-TRV-SHJ-TRV-MAA-DEL everyday. AI 143/142
was on an A320 which turns around as AI 967/968 at MAA to SHJ via TRV.

I usually ask Mr. Talking to keep me abreast with goings-on at
Air India. On 14 March 2014 (Friday), he got back to
me with my question, as to the engine cowl damage on one B77L,
and a bird-hit radome on one B77W: which planes were these?
The B77W could be either ALN or ALQ, he reasoned.
ALN had been grounded in ORD couple of days back and had come back the
night before. ALQ was grounded in BOM and is flying into DEL today
(14 Mar 2014) as AI 101. Whichever plane it may be, it has already got a new
radome since all W's are flying. The engine-cowl damage on the
B77L: it seemed to be either "D" or "E" since there had been a delay
in sending those two to AUH, to go to Etihad.

I asked him about his recent flights on Jet airways, as well.
It had been to an international destination, Singapore.
He had had an official trip to Singapore on Jet Airways, as an
exception to the usual Air India rule.
On 06 Mar, 9W was more or less good, he said. The crew were fantastic.
The IFE was functional and decent as well. As to the food, the
quality was decent, but the quantity had been quite poor.

84.4 Whew...too much distraction, back to my Chandigarh trip!

I reached the Delhi airport well in time, and started looking around.
An Ethiopian B763 was there at an International gate.

The S-80 was there at its usual location.
Here are three pictures of the car, a white one, this time.



BO, the `smelly plane' VT-ABO was parked at a remote stand.

By now, the ET B763 had begun its push-back.

An Emirates B77L had landed, and was going towards its gate.


The itinerary for the first leg of the journey was as follows:

Set out 20 Mar (Thu) for Chandigarh from New Delhi
AI 864: Air India (A321) [Seat: 11A; PNR: YNDE9]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Chandigarh Airport, Chandigarh
New Delhi (DEL) - Chandigarh (IXC)
[09:50 am - 10:45 am]

My ride for the day would be PJ, the `not-so-funny' plane, VT-PPJ.
It had come in from Mumbai as AI 864 on the dot, and
parked in at around 08:57 am. As I waited for PJ to come in to park,
my friend Mr. All-Stare MacLean texted me that as he was
going to work, he had seen PJ, and wrote,
`while landing on runway 29, PJ had passed over my head'.
I texted back, saying that his intellectual jokes and PJs alike,
all went over my head.
I was on SMS contact with a few of my other friends as well.
I updated Mr. J. R. R. Talking with information
about planes all around me. There was a Dream)liner VT-ANL, the
`Cancellation/Annul' plane parked at a domestic gate (31B), which was
not taking any passengers. The presence of a large contingent of
Sikhs around the gate told me that this may be the Amritsar
flight. AI 462, Mr. J. R. R. Talking told me. It seemed to have
some technical issue, as no one was boarding the plane. Some time
before our flight boarded, I saw a swarm of Punjabi-speaking
people going towards another gate.

At 09:38 am, there was one Dream)liner I could see at
an International gate. We had been assigned Gate 30B.
There was some delay here, and we finally boarded at around 09:50 am.
This was one really full flight. There was not a single empty
seat in the Economy class, as far as I could see. It is quite
interesting that AI ran an A321 for such a short hop, a leg with
a flying time of about 45 minutes in all. Loads on the segment
are usually fantastic. The particular plane had the following
usual rotation, at the time of my journey (Mar'14):
AI 864: BOM-DEL-IXC
AI 863: IXC-DEL-BOM
AI 633: BOM-BHO-DEL

84.5 The flight itself, DEL-IXC

Captain Seema Chandani was in command, with Mr. Harshit in charge
of the cabin. (Or did I get the first name of the Captain wrong:
was it Reema?). Captain Chandani took us away from T3, and my
expectations grew. Which runway would we get?
Mr. J. R. R. Talking knows much more about my home airport,
and Air India, than I do. He had told me that AI 864, the
Chandigarh flight was one of the very few Air India flights that
got to use the main runway at Delhi. Would we get to use the
secondary runway? I saw an Air Force C-17 standing beside the
secondary runway, and made my expectations rise. They fell almost
just as soon, as Captain Chandani turned the plane to the right,
along the long taxiway to the Eastern end of the main runway, 28.
We took off towards the West, and continued in the same direction
for some time. As the seat belt announcement came in, there was
also an announcement about the IFE system to be made available
after the plane reached cruising altitude, and refreshment being
served on the flight. The regular reader knows what the last
announcement does to me, but this time, I was well-prepared.
I had hogged on a very early breakfast at home, so that hunger
pangs would not strike me at an untimely juncture. However, I was
quite pleased to see a zip-lock packet with a fruit drink
mini-carton, and a packet of groundnuts/peanuts being handed out.
I enjoyed the mini-snack, as I leafed through the Air India
magazine, `Shubh Yatra'. Is it just me, or do other people also
miss the earlier Indian Airlines magazine `Swagat', the Air
Indian magazine `Namaskar', and the Alliance Air magazine
`Darpan'? The Jet Airways magazine, which had had quite an
insipid start in the 1990s, is quite a superb magazine now.
Yes, the IFE was indeed turned on. Of late (circa March 2014),
Air India had not been switching the IFE on, on its narrow-body
aircraft on short hops. The reason I guessed, was cost-cutting
on the content license, and the fact that none of the competition
now offered IFE on the domestic leg, Kingfisher having shut shop
quite some time back, and Jet not turning the IFE (which was at
one time, the only AVOD offering in the domestic skies on
narrow-bodies, in the country) for cost reasons. Much to my
delight, all six video channels were on, with the sixth one
showing a Punjabi film. I chose Channel 5, where old Hindi film
songs were being played. There was a modern Hindi movie `Club 60'
on the first channel, an old black-and-white Hindi movie
`Madhumati' on the second, Hollywood film `Juno' on the third,
and a mixed variety entertainment programme (TV shows), on the fourth.
Much to my disappointment, the audio channels were not available
throughout the flight. This is something I have noted
consistently, of late.

Captain Chandani made a feather-touch landing on the runway, as
we came from the Eastern end. We hardly felt anything! I was on
the port side of the plane, and saw the construction of the new
International terminal on the South side (the Mohali side), as we
went to the 11 end of the runway, turned a full 180 degrees, and
went towards the extremely impressive new domestic terminal
building, to our left. I noted with delight, the Air Force
aircraft on offer, with rotary wing craft such as the Mi-8s and two
Mi-26s, and a Mig-27 `Bahadur', many Il-76 `Gajraj' transport
aircraft, a few An-32 `Sutlej' medium transport aircraft, and
much to my delight, two Mig-21 FLs on two poles, displayed inside
a park at a distance. The domestic terminal has two aero-bridges,
and we got the North one. The new terminal is extremely neat and
clean, and a very impressive steel-and-glass structure. I had
only cabin baggage with me, as I descended the stairs, and came
out, with the roar of four `Screaming Solovievs', the four
Soloviev/Progress DK30 engines, as an Il-76 took off towards the West.
For those who have not experienced an Il-76 take-off, it is
something unforgettable. The ear drums start paining, and the
ground literally pulsates at one's feet, as the first-generation
turbofan engines spool up, and deliver maximum thrust.
I remember once being in Delhi's then Terminal 1-A, and watching a
runway 28 take-off of an Il-76.

After I came out from the terminal, my gracious hosts who had
come to receive me, told me that India's former President
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam had also been on this very flight.
He was possibly flying in the Business (J) class, and security
all around had been very tight, at the Chandigarh airport.

84.6 Heading back, home

The day was quite tight in terms of my schedule.
I was done just in time for a non-hurried approach to the airport.
I set out for the airport at around 5pm.
At 05:40 pm, the SpiceJet check-in counters opened for the
flight. I checked in without any ado. The itinerary for this leg
of the flight was as follows:

Set out 20 Mar (Thu) for New Delhi from Chandigarh
SG 2116: SpiceJet (Q400) [Seat: 07D; PNR: N42IKF]
Chandigarh Airport, Chandigarh - IGIA T1-D, New Delhi
Chandigarh (IXC) - New Delhi (DEL)
[07:20 pm - 08:25 pm]

I walked around the extremely impressive terminal. Gates 1A/B
were on the ground floor, as were gates 3 and 4. These were
separated by a small partition, which looked like a part of the
initial terminal building, with the segregated arrivals and
departures. The integration of the tiny old structure with the
new construction looks rather seamless, and the maintenance being
very good, the overall experience was a pleasant surprise.
Gates 2 and 5 are on the first floor: these are the aero-bridge gates.
There were a few power ports all around as well.

VT-JCW came in from Ahmedabad and Jaipur, and would return to the
same places. There was a GoAir pre-boarding announcement for a
flight to Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Darkness started suddenly descending on the airport around 06:13 pm.
At 06:35 pm, a sharkletted Go Air bird came in to land from the East.
I parked myself on the first floor, which was comparatively
sparsely populated, in comparison with the ground floor. This
also gave me a better vantage point to see arriving flights, at
the cost of two layers of glass, and quite a few obstructions,
impeding my viewing experience.

I also saw SG 2115 come in to land from Delhi, at 06:40 pm.
Yes, this plane would turn around back to Delhi, as the flight I
would be on. SG 2116. The Go Air plane stopped on the tarmac, so
would get a bus gate. This was at 06:44pm. Our plane parked right
beside it (VT-GOM), at 06:47pm. Our plane was VT-SUE `Elaichi'.
Captain Snehanshu Sarkar was in command, with First Officer
Pravin Kishore. The two members of the cabin crew were Ms.
Parineeta and Mr. Rahul. The two members of the cabin crew were
fluent in Hindi and English, it was announced.
The total flying time was announced as 45 minutes.
At 07:35 pm, the Captain came on the air, announcing
that we were then at an altitude of 20,000 feet, and that we
expected to be right on schedule.
I had pre-booked what turned out to be a listless and stale
chicken sandwich, whose taste (or rather, the relative lack of
it) did not do my palette too many favours.


Captain Sarkar made a very smooth landing on the main runway at
Delhi, runway 28, as we came in from the East. We taxied to a
remote stand. The cabin crew announced that the baggage would
come up on Belt 2. I had only one piece of cabin baggage with me,
so I came out quickly, booked a pre-paid taxi, and set off for home.

I would lament to my friends after getting into the taxi, that
the Marans of the Sun group taking control of SpiceJet from
Wilbur Ross, brought excitement into the buy-on-board food.
The current CEO had re-damped(!) it (for all it means).
The irony was that the name of the CEO circa March 2014 was Sanjiv Kapoor.
He shares his full name with India's master celebrity chef!

(albeit the fact that they spell their first names differently).

The rest of this article has a part which I had put in as a
reply, on the thread started by the one and only me111993 (Rishul Saraf)
Mumbai's Spectacular New T2 + AI 332/77W
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13703.html
A superb trip report, covering CSIA T2 and two of Air India's
wide-bodies. I was intrigued, and at the time of my Chandigarh trip
(which resulted in this trip report), I had done my analysis circa Mar'2014.
For the record, and for getting the time-line right, I have
appended this analysis to this trip report as an appendix, below.
Those who have read this, and commented on it, thank you, you all
may as well perform appendicitis on this trip report.

Appendix: Air India: the Mumbai base, wide-bodies, etcetra. Circa Mar'14

A.1 Mumbai's International Connections
Member Jason had pointed out that Air India's `connectors' had
perhaps lost their utility, and perhaps apart from the
Mumbai-London and Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Newark flight, Mumbai was no
longer the primary gateway to the world for Air India, with most
of their flights having shifted to Delhi. Mumbai still had
flights to quite a few international destinations, and served as
Air India's secondary hub. Mumbai had the following flights to
international destinations. The aircraft type is shown in
rectangular brackets, in this list. All this is circa March, 2014.

Departures out of BOM

- The early hours departures out of BOM
Abu Dhabi (AUH): AI 945 {12:05am-} [A319]
Newark (EWR): AI 191 {01:30am-} [B77W]
Bangkok (BKK): AI 330 {01:35am-} [A321]
Riyadh (RUH): AI 921 {02:50am-} [B77W]

- The morning departures out of BOM
London (LHR): AI 131 {07:00am-} [B788]
Shanghai (PVG): AI 348 {08:15am-} [B788]

- afternoon departures out of BOM
Jeddah (JED): AI 931/965 {04:50pm/04:55pm-} [B77W/B744]

- The evening/night departures out of BOM
Hong Kong (HKG): AI 310/314 {08:00pm-} [A319/A320/A321 to DEL, B788 to HKG]
Dubai (DXB): AI 983 {08:30pm-} [A321]
Singapore (SIN): AI 342 {09:25pm-} [A332]
New York (JFK): AI 101 {09:30pm-} [usually B77W, occassional substitutions]
Muscat (MCT): AI 985 {10:05pm-} [A320]

Arrivals into BOM

- The early hours arrivals into BOM
Riyadh (RUH): AI 920 {-12:30am} [B77W]
Hong Kong (HKG): AI 311/317 {-12:55am} [A319/A320/A321 to DEL, B788 to HKG]

- The morning arrivals bank into BOM
London (LHR): AI 131 {-04:00am} [B788]
Dubai (DXB): AI 984 {-04:05am} [A321]
Muscat (MCT): AI 986 {-04:10am} [A320]
Jeddah (JED): AI 930 {-04:45am} [B77W]
Shanghai (PVG): AI 348 {-06:15am} [B788]
Abu Dhabi (AUH): AI 944 {-06:55am} [A319]

- The noon time arrivals bank into BOM
Jeddah (JED): AI 964 {-12:05pm} [B744] (one stop)
Singapore (SIN): AI 342 {-01:00pm} [A332]

- The afternoon/evening arrivals bank into BOM
Newark (EWR): AI 191 {-05:30pm} [B77W]
New York (JFK): AI 101 {-06:55pm} [usually B77W, occassional substitutions]
Bangkok (BKK): AI 331 {-11:05pm} [A321]

A.2 The Air India Mumbai-Ahmedabad services
Member Jason pointed out that AMD was one of the major trunk air
routes from BOM. Yet, AI give the passenger mostly international
connectors, and nothing during the day.

``...those retarded connectors...Nothing during the day,'' he said.
Nasty o'clock: yes. `Nothing during the day' is definitely an issue.
``Can I get back to you on this?'' I asked. They have covered up the
`London jAvANU' with a scheduled narrow-body for the pax loads on
the AI 130/131 BOM-LHR flights. Jason, the `connectors' are not
that bad, are they? Rishul and many others noted very poor loads
on this route in the pre-`merger' days, but post the DEL hub and
all the restructuring AI has gone through, I do not see them do
too badly in terms of loads, and suiting the purpose.

Jason said, ``That said, instead of giving you a long and convoluted speech,
I'll just say that AI should be looking at BOM as primarily an
O&D base, not one to go out of the way to build connections over.
Besides Newark, there are no international destinations that
aren't served from DEL. And even domestic, the only places served
from BOM and not DEL are probably Jamnagar and Rajkot (and maybe
one or two southern cities) - hardly network-making or breaking stuff.''

``So, if they must have this retarded connector (really past it's
sell by date), it should be just the one. AI (and not the ex-IC)
do need 3-4 "domestic" flights (i.e., from Terminal 1) between Bombay and
Ahmedabad, not the other way around.''

Air India's main focus on this route seemed to be to provide
international connectivity rather than serve the domestic market.

AI 012: BOM-AMD {01:45am-02:50am} [A321]
AI 130: BOM-AMD {05:30am-06:30am} [A320] [`London jAvANU']
AI 643: BOM-AMD {05:50pm-07:00pm} [A320]
AI 144: BOM-AMD {06:55pm-08:10pm} [B77W]

Air India does not have a presence of the BOM-AMD daytime
flights, this is possibly not because of Jet Airways exerting
political pressure to take them out of the route. It is possibly
more because of the lack of aircraft to use on the route in the
day time. The morning and evening flights see good patronage from
the business crowd on an average, and this seems to be working
out well for the airline. As regards more flights, Air India
badly needs up to about 19 all-Economy sharkletted new A320s,
since without more planes, the airline will gradually end up
losing a share of the market pie. As of now, Jet is a prominent
player on the day-time BOM-AMD flights. The two prominent
low-cost carriers in India Indigo and SpiceJet often established
themselves on routes with some non-business hour flights, before
consolidating, and introducing business hour flights. The former
(Indigo) has some loyal corporate customers, from what I have heard.

A possibility for Air India was to route one of the DEL-BOM
flights via AMD, but there were two issues: lack of planes, and
possibly most of the day time traffic being relatively low-yield,
which may not be worth chasing for the beleaguered national
carrier, on an upswing. The corporate/business flights on the
BOM-AMD segment had a good percentage of high priced ticket
bookings close to the day of the flight, giving better yields to
the airline, as opposed to the day time flights, which have seen
lower priced tickets being booked well in advance.

There was an important point with regard to the AI 191/144 legs.
This came from the statistics Rishul mentioned in his
lovely trip report, Mumbai's Spectacular New T2 + AI 332/77W

As both Jason and Nimish pointed out, it was
possibly a waste of taxpayers' money, sending a load of 70
passengers onto AMD on a B77W. Further, as Nimish pointed out,
would this not incur cycles on the B77W, advancing its age?
I had replied, saying that I could say this with some conviction,
since not just did I have incidental evidence, after the point
below, I will summarise AI's wide-body domestic legs for
international flights, and the reasons, and the loads. I have
some information from some people in the know. 70 pax on BOM-AMD
is a low load, but it is not quite usual. Rishul's last such
trip saw 80% loads. (191/238). I have myself seen amazing loads
on a much larger aircraft, the B744. Not just loads, this segment
seems to get huge cargo loads, which a narrow-body cannot do
justice to. Please read on, below, about AI accommodating
passengers on this flight, and cancelling the other narrow-body flight.

The odd-time AI 012 turns around as AI 131, the narrow-body
domestic connector for the LHR flight, with a routing AMD-BOM-LHR.
AI 130 from BOM which provides excellent connectivity on the
AMD-BOM sector with a nice early morning departure from AMD.
The only current blemish may be the fact that this flight uses the
current International terminal at Mumbai, and not the domestic
one. Many passengers prefer the slightly more centrally located
Santa Cruz (CSIA Terminal 1A/B/C) to the current non-integrated
CSIA T2 at Sahar. Sahar is however more convenient for those at
my earlier place of work, however. There is another point with
regard to the current international terminal. Please read on,
below. Air India had changed a flight which operated to the
domestic T1, to the international T2. Of course, when the
terminal would end up integrating operations at Mumbai, things
would be more uniform, which is sometimes an issue, give that the
two terminals are quite some distance apart from each other,
almost at the two ends of the main runway 09-27 at Mumbai.

In the evening, AI 643 departs to AMD very close to AI 144
because its a positioning flight for AMD-BOM-MCT. Air India gets
some significant international connections on this route because
the flight also connects to the DXB flight. The AI 614/643
service provides a full working day in BOM.

Air India gets a lot of international connectivity from AMD and
has a very loyal clientele from the state of Gujarat.
That is why the early morning AI 618/619 from DEL
has now changed to AI 18/19. Also, in the evening sees AI 11/12 and
AI 30/31 from DEL. Both the evening flights depart within
couple of hours of each other. Air India does not operate AI 11/12
when the loads are poor, shifting passengers onto the other
evening flight, thus making a good match of the passenger loads,
with the aircraft type deployed.

However, the same logic does not apply to the AI 101/102 route.
They just can't do it either due to aircraft unavailability or
due to the need to position the aircraft for the next flight.
Air India find it more economic to rotate the wide-bodies from
Delhi via their heavy engineering base at Mumbai. I have seen
most aircraft in the Air India fleet doing this route, the B77W,
B77L, the A332, the Dream)liner, and on occassion, even an
A321/A320/A319, though the latter has been quite rare, only about
one or twice a month.

A.3 Air India's domestic wide-body services, circa March 2014

I had compiled a list of Air India's domestic wide-body services.
I have been over-enthusiastic about experiences these somewhat
rare fraction of Air India's services, usually trying not to miss
a wide-body experience in the domestic skies. This is exotic for
me, since I anyway usually end up patronising Air India on the
longer wide-body routes. In most of these, I have put in some of
my notes along with the route, based on information I have from
my contacts, and what I have read about on this forum, as well as
circumstantial evidence, which I have seen as a frequent
traveller on Air India's network.

International Flight legs

1. AMD-BOM-AMD on AI 191/144: the Newark flight, the `Gujju Express'
Good loads: pax+cargo. At one time, AI's perhaps only consistent
money earner, right from the B744 days, when the flight was via CDG.
2. HYD-DEL-HYD on AI 127/126: the Chicago flight
Good loads: pax+cargo. AI's second cash cow. Check the average
loads. The B77W often goes full, and is often sold out completely
a few days before the flight. Yes, that includes the
international segment as well. AI's second, and newest cash-cow.
3. BOM-MAA-BOM on AI 342/343: the Singapore flight
Good loads: pax+cargo, plus the economic advantage of an A332.
4. BOM-DEL-BOM on AI 101/102: the JFK flight
The loads on the domestic segment are on an average, quite
average. Cargo: not too bad. What justifies this leg, then?
AI uses this leg to rotate wide-bodies through BOM, the heavy
maintenance base. I have seen most wide-bodies on this route:
B77Ls, B77Ws, Dream)liners, and on occassion, even an A332
(getting back after a Haj run to DEL). This is much better than
the other alternative: of having to run ferry flights. This works
out well for AI, financially, and has been the case, over the
years, in spite of passenger loads ranging from the average, to bad.
5. BOM-DEL-BOM on AI 348/349: the Shanghai flight
A combination of the factors above, including the last one. AI
uses this leg to rotate the Dream)liners through BOM, now-a-days.
6. HYD-BOM-HYD on AI 965/964: the Jeddah flight
This is a twice weekly flight on a B744 but does not seem to be
doing too badly. I do not know as much about this flight, as the
others, above. This flight seems to have some J (Business) demand.
AI 965 is BOM-HYD-JED and AI 964 is JED-HYD-BOM. The B744 is
based at BOM, at AI's heavy engineering base.
7. CCJ-COK-CCJ on AI 962/963: India's shortest domestic B744 flight
This is again not a daily flight on a B744 and perhaps doesn't do
that badly, else it would have been pulled out sooner than one
would have expected. Again, I do not know that much about this flight.
AI 962 is CCJ-COK and AI 963 is COK-CCJ twice a week. CCJ-JED on
the other hand, is a 5 weekly flight both ways, in which on two
days, the plane serves COK as well.
8. AI 113/114: the BHX flight, kabUtar Express, and the
corresponding purely domestic positioning flights

This is the flight on the infamous illegal immigration route.
Air India had started this flight under severe political
pressure. AI could not start this on a Dream)liner, and then
change the domestic sector to a narrow-body.
The only saviour was perhaps the Dream)liner's economics, and
the fact that they decided to go this route 4 times a week, and
not daily. As Ojas wrote, the flight is doing quite well (in
spite of a very short domestic leg on a wide-body), with much
decent yields than one expected. The winning formula was having 4
weekly flights, the lower operating costs of the Dream)liners,
and the right seating configuration. The Dream)liner comes back
as a domestic flight AI 462 on four days from Amritsar, and the
other three days, this route is operated by an A321. The opposite
direction has AI 461 for four days as a Dream)liner, and three,
as an A321. On lean days, AI have also cancelled a narrow-body
flight, and had passengers transferred onto the Dream)liner.

Purely Domestic Flights
The A332s and of course, the Dream)liners do well on the longer
domestic flights, typically the 02:30 hour legs.

1. AI 803/505 DEL-BLR-DEL
This route has seen occassional A321s, on days when some
Dream)liners fell short, or when loads did not warrant a
Dream)liner.
2. AI 439/430 DEL-MAA-DEL
This route started the domestic Dream)liner service, but has seen
the larger capacity A332s often operate it on busy days (plus
when the Dream)liners have not been available).
3. AI 20/701 DEL-CCU-DEL
The DEL-CCU route saw three out of the four daily services on
Dream)liners, in the peak season. There is a huge traffic between
the two cities, and Air India has adjusted the capacity, with the
narrow-bodies (CR7, A319, A320, A321) and the Dream)liners (and
the A332s) on service between the city pairs, including a time
when a B744 did one of the runs. Coming back to the AI 20/701
routing specifically, this flight connects well from one of the
two LHR-DEL flights (AI 112), among others. I have seen passengers
connecting onwards to Dhaka via Calcutta, AI 230, an A319 flight.
AI 20 in fact connects well to the morning-late morning arrival
bank of International flights. This has been one of the success
stories for Air India, when a CCU-LHR flight would not have made
economic success alone, even on a Dream)liner, given the current
traffic figures (till March 2014).

A.4 Other `International Connectors'

Air India has had the concept of an `international connector' to
allow passengers to clear immigration and customs at the point of
the start of the journey, rather than the major leg, which leave
India. Of course, a seamless check-in of baggage is also a part
of the deal. At some places (such as Delhi and Mumbai,
prominently), the international and domestic terminals were far
apart from each other. An international connector would do an
international-international transfer.
How relevant is this in today's times?

Air India do not seem to be doing the international connectors
too badly. I tried to compile a list of these flights, save those
I have already mentioned above, in the domestic wide-body
part, or the BOM-AMD segment.
There are quite a lot of them, and I have written notes beside them.

An interesting point is that even if a particular flight is not
an international connector, Air India often hold a connecting
flight for booked passengers, at the cost of its on-time
performance figures. I have seen this at DEL (their primary hub,
of course), BOM (their secondary hub) and interestingly, at BLR
(where there were connecting passengers from a delayed MLE
flight, one day). I am reasonably sure they do it at other places as well.

International Departure Banks at DEL
- The morning bank of international departures from DEL:
DAC AI 231 {06:05am-09:00am} [A320]
LHR AI 115 {06:40/06:45/06:50am-} [B788]
KTM AI 213 {07:20am-09:00am} [A320]

- The early afternoon bank of international departures from DEL:
PVG AI 348 (4 times per week) {11:50am-08:00pm} [B788]
KBL AI 243 (6 times per week) {12:35pm-01:35pm} [A320]
DMM AI 913 {01:00pm-02:30pm} [A320]
MEL/SYD AI 302 {01:00pm-} [B788]
KTM AI 215 {01:10pm-02:55pm} [A321]
CDG AI 143 {01:10pm-06:00pm} [B788]
BHX AI 113 (4 times per week) {01:15pm-05:00pm} [B788]
BKK AI 332 {01:25pm-07:20pm} [A321]
FRA AI 121 {01:35pm-06:00pm} [B788]
RUH AI 925 (twice a week) {02:00pm-04:45pm} [B77W]
LHR AI 111 [02:45pm-06:55pm} [B77W]

- The afternoon/evening miscellaneous international departures from DEL:
JED AI 991 {04:05pm-07:45pm} [B77W]
BAH-AUH AI 941 {06:15pm-10:55pm} [A319]
MCT AI 973 {07:20pm-09:25pm} [A320]
DXB AI 995 {08:40pm-10:45pm} [B788]
NRT AI 306 {09:15pm-08:00am} [B788]

- The late night/early hours bank of departures from DEL:
HKG-KIX/ICN AI 310/314 {11:15pm-} [B788]
SIN AI 380 [12:05am-08:00am} [A319]
(*) DME AI 155 (4 times per week) {01:25am-05:15am} [B77L/B788] (not started)
JFK AI 101 {01:35am-07:35am} [B77W]
RUH AI 925 (once a week) {01:55am-04:45am} [B77L]
ORD AI 127 {02:00am-07:30am}

International Arrival Banks into DEL

- The early morning arrival bank into DEL
PVG AI 349 (4 times per week) {-02:45am} [B788]
LHR AI 116 {-02:50am} [B788]
MCT AI 974 {-03:30am} [A320]
DXB AI 996 {-04:45am} [B788]
JED AI 990 (thrice a week) {-05:10am} [B77W]
AUH-BAH AI 940 {-05:20am} [A319]

- The morning/mid-day arrival bank into DEL
FRA AI 120 {-09:35am} [B788]
CDG AI 142 {-10:05am} [B788]
BHX AI 114 {-10:05am} [B788] (thank you Abhijith, for pointing this out!)
DMM AI 912 {-10:15am} [A320]
LHR AI 112 {-11:20am} [B77W]
KTM AI 214 {-11:25am} [A320]
DAC AI 232 {-11:45am} [A320]
BKK AI 333 {-12:05pm} [A321]
SIN AI 381 {-12:30pm} [A319]
RUH AI 924 {-12:35pm} [B77L/B77W]

- The afternoon/evening arrival bank into DEL
JFK AI 102 {-03:00pm} [B77W]
(*) DME AI 154 (4 times a week) {-03:20pm} [B77L/B788] (not started)
ORD AI 126 {-03:25pm} [B77W]
KTM AI 216 {-05:00pm} [A321]
KBL AI 244 {-05:55pm} [A320]
NRT AI 307 {-06:00pm} [B788]
MEL/SYD AI 301 {-06:15pm} [B788]

- The night arrival bank into DEL
BHX AI 114 {-08:30pm} [B788]
KIX/ICN-HKG {-09:35pm} [B788]

International connectors to DEL

AI 018 AMD-DEL {08:05am-09:35am} [A319]
Business hour O&D on the AMD-DEL route, plus
connecting well to the early afternoon bank of international flights,
Intriguingly, this connects well from the Kuwait flight to AMD.
AI 982 (thrice a week) {12:05am-06:05am} [A320]

AI 011 AMD-DEL {08:15pm-09:40pm} [A321]
Business hour O&D on the AMD-DEL route, plus
connecting to the Hong Kong-Seoul/Osaka, and by default, the
late night/early hours bank of international flights, though
there is a later flight some two hours after this one, which
connects better to the late night/early hours bank.

AI 030 AMD-DEL {10:05pm-11:30pm} [A321]
Connects well to the late night/early hours bank of international
flights.

AI 113 ATQ-DEL (4 times per week) {10:30am-11:45am} [B788]
This is the connector for the Birmingham flight, and
connects well to all flights of the early afternoon bank of
international departures out of Delhi, except for the extremely
tight PVG connection.

AI 115 ATQ-DEL {03:00am-04:15am} [A321]
This is primarily a narrow-body connector for the Air India B788
flight to London Heathrow, which goes on with the same flight
number. this also connects well to the morning bank of departures
which apart from the Heathrow flight, includes the Dhaka and
morning Kathmandu flight.

AI 111 ATQ-DEL (thrice weekly) {10:30am-11:50am} [A320]
This is primarily an international narrow-body connector to the
LHR flight with the same number. This also connects well to all
international flights in the large early afternoon departures bank,
with the exception of the PVG flight.

AI 127 HYD-DEL {08:55pm-11:10pm} [B77W]
This is the Chicago flight, but connects well from Hyderabad to
the entire bank of late night/early hours bank, except for the
Hong Kong flight out of Delhi.

AI 143 MAA-DEL {08:45am-11:30am} [A320]
This is the international connector for the Paris flight,
primarily, but connects well to almost all flights in the early
afternoon bank: KBL/DMM/MEL-SYD/KTM/BHX/BKK/FRA/RUH/LHR.

AI 043 MAA-DEL {09:05pm-11:45pm} [A319]
This is the international connector to the North American bank of
flights out of DEL, JFK/ORD and the RUH flight too.
Interestingly, this flight connects from the CMB-MAA flight as well.
AI 274 {04:35pm-06:00pm} (6 times a week) [A321]

AI 018 AMD-DEL {08:05am-09:35am} [A319]
In addition to this being a business hour AMD-DEL flight, this
connects to the entire early afternoon bank of departures out of DEL

AI 047 COK-DEL {08:00pm-11:05pm} [A320]
This connects very well to the entire late night/early hours
international flight bank out of Delhi, primarily the North
American flights, and Singapore and RUH.

AI 021 CCU-DEL {10:00am-12:05pm} [A321]
This connects very well to the large early afternoon bank of
international departures out of Delhi, except the PVG flight.

AI 023 CCU-DEL {08:15pm-10:30pm} [A321]
This connects very well to the entire late night/early hours bank
of departures out of Delhi, primarily the North American bank
(which was the main target of this flight, anyway).

AI 348 BOM-DEL {08:15am-10:30am} (4 times a week) [B788]
This connects very well to the entire large early afternoon bank
of flights out of Delhi, though AI 1348/349 is primarily an O&D
set of flights.

AI 101 BOM-DEL {09:30pm-11:45pm} [B77W]
This connects very well to the entire bank of late night/early
departures bank of flights out of Delhi.

International connectors from DEL

AI 114 DEL-ATQ {12:40pm-01:45pm} (4 times per week) [B788]
This is the same-plane international connector from the
Birmingham flight to Delhi. Interestingly, while this is
primarily an O&D flight, this connects well to the Air India
flights to Eastern Asia, including a slightly tight NRT
connection, HKG-ICN/KIX and SIN.

AI 112 DEL-ATQ {12:40pm-01:45pm} (3 times per week) [A321]
This complements the AI 114 flights on the other days of the week.
This is the connector from the LHR flight of the same number.

AI 016 DEL-ATQ {10:00pm-11:20pm} [A321]
This connects well to the night arrivals bank into Delhi: BHX and
KIX/ICN-HKG

AI 126 DEL-HYD {05:00pm-07:15pm} [B77W]
This is primarily an O&D flight, but also taken in passengers
from the entire mid-day bank of arrivals, and the JFK flight,
onwards towards Hyderabad. Loads are usually excellent on this flight.

AI 142 DEL-MAA {12:30pm-03:15pm/01:55pm-04:45pm} [A320]
This is primarily the connector from the Paris flight, but also
connects well to the almost the entire morning/mid-day arrival
bank into DEL, including FRA/DMM/LHR/KTM/DAC.

AI 042 DEL-MAA {05:15pm-08:00pm} [A319]
This is primarily a connector from the afternoon/evening North
American arrival bank into DEL: JFK/ORD, it also connects
with some delay, with the morning/mid-day arrival bank into DEL.

AI 019 DEL-AMD {06:00am-07:30am} [A320]
In addition to being a business-hour DEL-AMD flight,
this connects well from the early morning bank of arrivals,
from PVG/LHR(usually unnecessary because of the BOM connection)/
MCT/DXB/JED/AUH-BAH.

AI 010 DEL-AMD {06:10pm-07:35pm} [A321]
In addition to being a business hour DEL-AMD flight,
this connects well from the North American arrival bank (JFK/ORD)
and KTM. The connection from the morning/mid-day arrival bank
into DEL is a bit on the higher side, and I doubt if there are
too many connecting passengers.
This also connects well to the KUW flight:
AMD-KUW AI 981 [thrice a week] {09:00pm-10:30pm} [A320]

AI 031 DEL-AMD {08:00pm-09:25pm} [A321]
In addition to being a business hour DEL-AMD flight,
this connects well from the KTM/KBL/NRT/MEL-SYD flights.

AI 048 DEL-COK-TRV {06:05pm-09:10pm, 09:50pm-10:40pm} [A321]
This connects well to the afternoon arrival bank into DEL,
primarily the North American flights.

AI 020 DEL-CCU {02:20pm-04:20pm} [B788]
This was primarily meant as the international connector for
passengers coming in from LHR, and serves as the primary reason.
However, this also connects well to many others in the
morning/mid-day arrival bank into Delhi.

AI 022 DEL-CCU {08:15pm-10:25pm} [A321]
Air India adjusts its capacity on this route using narrow-bodies
according to the season, the load, and the aircraft availability.
I have seen all of the A319/A320/A321s on this route. This
connects well to the afternoon/evening arrivals bank, and serves
as a backup for AI 764 (the scheduled 5pm domestic Calcutta
flight), in case the North American bank of
flights is delayed for some reason.

AI 349 DEL-BOM {04:00am-06:15am} (4 times a week) [B788]
This is primarily an O&D flight pair, but connects well to some
flights in the early arrival bank into Delhi.

AI 102 DEL-BOM {04:45pm-06:55pm} [B77W]
This is primarily an O&D flight, and one to rotate aircraft
through the Mumbai heavy engineering base. However, this connects
well from the Chicago arrival as well.

International connectors to BOM

AI 131 AMD-BOM {04:00am-05:05am} [A321]
This flight connects to the LHR flight with the same number, from BOM

AI 191 AMD-BOM {09:40pm-11:10pm} [B77W]
This of course, is the `Gujju Express', with usually a same plane
service to Newark.

AI 985 AMD-BOM {08:00pm-09:10pm} [A320]
This connects well to the SIN/JFK/MCT flights, though AMD
passengers could go straight to Delhi on a flight to catch the
JFK flight from there.

AI 343 SIN-MAA-BOM {08:20am-09:45am; 11:10am-01:00pm} [A332]
This is primarily an O&D flight, but connects somewhat late to
the JED flight.

AI 311/317 DEL-BOM {10:50pm-12:55am} [A321]
Primarily an O&D flight for KIX/ICN-HKG and DEL passengers, but
connects to the EWR early hours departures out of BOM.

AI 349 DEL-BOM {04:00am-06:15am} (4 times a week) [B788]
Primarily an O&D flight as well, but connects to the LHR flight,
which is just coincidental, here, apart from reasons of aircraft
rotations.

AI 102 DEL-BOM {04:45pm-06:55pm} [B77W]
Primarily an O&D flight, also used for rotating aircraft through
AI's BOM heavy engineering base. Coincidentally connects to the
evening departure bank as well.

International connectors from BOM

AI 144 BOM-AMD {06:55pm-08:10pm} [B77W]
Not just is the the connector from the EWR-BOM flight on the same
place (usually), this connects well to the AMD-KUW flight as well.

AI 342 BOM-MAA-SIN {09:25pm-11:10pm; 12:45am-07:20am} [A332]

AI 310/314 BOM-DEL {08:00pm-10:00pm} [A321]
This is the daily Hong Kong flight, which goes onward to Seoul
Incheon and Osaka Kansai on alternate days. The BOM-DEL segment
is on a narrow-body, while from DEL onwards, it is a wide-body.

AI 348 BOM-DEL {08:15am-10:30am} (4 times a week) [B788]

AI 101 BOM-DEL {09:30pm-11:45pm} [B77W]

The above two connections have been described in detail, above.

Miscellaneous International connectors

AI 962/963 (twice a week) [B744]
This serves as an international same-plane same flight
number connector for COK passengers for the otherwise 5 times per
week CCJ-JED flight.

AI 982/981 [A320] (thrice a week)
KWI-AMD-HYD-MAA, and vice versa. This is primarily an O&D flight.

AI 263/264 MAA-BLR-TRV-MLE and vice-versa [A320]
(BLR is missed one day of the week)

AI 993/994 BLR-GOI-DXB and vice versa (4 times a week) [A319]

AI 981/982 MAA-HYD-AMD-KWI and vice-versa (thrice a week) [A320]

AI 977/978 BLR-HYD-MCT and vice versa (thrice a week) [A319]

AI 975/976 MAA-GOI-KWI and vice-versa (four times a week) [A320]

AI 967/968 MAA-TRV-SJH and vice versa [A320]
(please read on below, on the SJH connections for DEL/BOM)

AI 951/952 VTZ-HYD-DXB and vice versa [A321]

AI 234 RGN-GAY-CCU (twice a week) {02:05pm-03:25pm; 05:15pm} [A320]
AI 233 CCU-GAY-RGN (once a week) {01:30pm-02:25pm; 03:00pm-06:00pm} [A319]

A.5 International Destinations not Directly Connected to DEL/BOM
The four prominent such cities are KUW, MLE, SJH and RGN (one
can perhaps add DAC and CMB to the list).

1. Kuwait (KUW)
The convenient international gateway is AMD, and not MAA/GOI/HYD

AMD-KUW AI 981 [thrice a week] {09:00pm-10:30pm} [A320]
The following international connectors connect to it:
DEL-AMD AI 019 {06:10pm-07:35pm} [A321]
BOM-AMD AI 144 {06:55pm-08:10pm} [B77W]

KUW-AMD AI 982 [thrice a week] {12:05am-06:05am} [A320]
The following international connectors connect to it:
AMD-DEL AI 018 {08:05am-09:35am} [A319]
This does not connect well to a Mumbai international connector,
only a domestic flight.

2. Male (MLE)
The convenient international gateway is TRV, BLR to some extent,
and MAA. However, neither the first, nor the second have an
international connector from DEL/BOM.

AI 265/266 BLR-MLE and vice-versa [A319]

3. Sharjah (SJH)
Sharjah is connected to Chennai, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram.
The best connection is perhaps via Kochi.

SJH-COK AI 934 {01:30pm-07:00pm} [A320]
This connects well to
COK-DEL AI 047 {08:00pm-11:05pm} [A320]
and
COK-BOM AI 055 {10:00pm-11:45pm} [A319]

COK-SJH AI 933 {10:20am-12:30pm} [A320]
DEL has a domestic flight, but no international connector
connecting to this flight.
BOM-COK on the other hand, has such a flight:
BOM-COK AI 054 {05:35am-07:20am} [A319]

AI 968 SJH-TRV-MAA {12:05am-05:35am-07:50am} [A320]
While this connects well to the international connectors out of
MAA to DEL/BOM, the extra stop dos not make it worth it. This connects to
MAA-DEL AI 143 {08:45am-11:50am} [A320]
and
MAA-BOM AI 343 {11:10am-01:00pm} [A332]

AI 967 MAA-TRV-SJH {05:30pm; 06:5pm-10:25pm} [A320]

SJH-CCJ AI 998 {12:05am-05:15am} [A321]
CCJ-SJH AI 997 {08:15pm-10:45pm} [A321]
These flights do not have any international connector either way,
to/from Kozhikode.

4. Yangon/Rangoon [RGN]

India's main connection to the place is through Calcutta (and
Gaya, but the once-a-week Gaya flight goes through Calcutta.

RGN-GAY-CCU AI 234 (twice a week) {02:05pm-05:15pm} [A320]
RGN-CCU AI 228 (once a week) {06:45pm-07:45pm} [A319]
DEL has an international connector from Calcutta, which connects
from this flight, while there is no international connector to
BOM. (The last domestic flight from CCU to BOM does not connect to
the second flight, above.)
CCU-DEL AI 023 {08:15pm-01:30pm} [A321]

CCU-RGN AI 227 (twice a week) {10:35am-01:20pm} [A320]
CCU-GAY-RGN (once a week) {01:30pm-06:00pm} [A319]
Neither DEL nor BOM have any international connectors connecting
to either flight, pointing to not much regular traffic on the route.

5. Dhaka [DAC]
Dhaka is connected directly to Calcutta and Delhi, but Mumbai and
Chennai do not have any international connector to/from Calcutta.
AI 230 CCU-DAC {07:20pm-08:40pm} [A319]
AI 229 DAC-CCU {09:40pm-10:05pm} [A319]

6. Colombo [CMB]
Colombo is connected to Chennai alone.
AI 273 {02:15pm-03:35pm} (6 times a week) [A321]
There is no international connector from DEL which connects
comfortably with this flight, there are only the domestic
connectors at this time.

AI 274 {04:35pm-06:00pm} (6 times a week) [A321]
Passengers to Delhi connect on the international connector
AI 043 MAA-DEL {09:05pm-11:45pm} [A319]

A.6 Connecting on an AI flight at DEL IGI T3: Where, and How

Here, I had to take the help of my friend from Bhopal once again,
since I have not connected via DEL, which is my home base. He has
to often connect to flights out of DEL and BOM on official trips,
and occasionally MAA as well. He keeps detailed lists of such information.

A.6.1 International to International connections
Passengers head straight to the International connections desk
(at the mezzanine level), show their boarding passes, clear
security, and enter the Departures level, again. With Air India,
this is of course, easier at their home base, with counters, and
staff all around.

A.6.2.a International to Domestic: Same Flight Number
e.g., AI 126 ORD-DEL-HYD. Both Immigration and Customs at the
final destination, HYD. Passengers come out to the Domestic
Connections desk, clear security, and enter the Departures part.

A.6.2.b International to Domestic: International Connector
A different flight number e.g., AI 20 DEL-CCU. Both Immigration
and Customs at the final destination, CCU.
Passengers come out to the Domestic
Connections desk, clear security, and enter the Departures part.

A.6.2.c International to Domestic: A Domestic Flight
Both Immigration and Customs at DEL. Passengers first clear
Immigration, collect their baggage from the conveyor belt, clear
Customs, go out, turn immediately towards the Transfer Desk at
the arrivals part (I think there are two such points art the two
extreme ends of the arrivals part: domestic/international, go up
an escalator/elevator to the Departures part with their baggage
on a belt (e.g., near the Sports bar at the international part).
Passengers then clear security as a regular domestic passengers,
enter the departures hall, and board the plane.

A.7 New destinations on Air India

Air India are playing it safe with respect to new destinations on
the Dream)liners, owing to the niggles that all operators of this
type are experiencing world-wide, though every operator is
enjoying the economic advantages the type gives, in spite of the
occassional problems. As of March 2014, Air India had wanted to
start a DEL-DME service (Delhi-Moscow Domodedovo) which would
align to one of Air India's bank of flights, and that too not a
daily flight, but four times, weekly. This was expected to ring
in the cash registers, but the Dream)liner issues meant the
postponement of this nearly imminent route, which they did not
start with the other aircraft of similar capacity in the fleet,
the B77L as the type would bleed the airline badly, with its
front-heavy configuration. Moreover, Air India had sold three
frames to Eithad, and were left with VT-ALE `Haryana' as the only
one in working condition, with VT-ALH `Maharashtra' being sadly
used as a spares source, it Mumbai. These two will possibly also
go to Etihad, soon. The only other plane of similar capacity are
the A332s with their limited spares inventory, and very limited
crew base, with most of the senior front office crew (who were
earlier on the A300s) having transitioned to the Dream)liner. The
A332 leases were supposed to be till sometime in the year later
(2014).

Due to one Dream)liner almost always needing some maintenance,
the Air India policy has been to fall back on the B77L sometimes
to run the schedules. Air India's focus was instead on making
existing routes upgrade to the Dream)liner, to try to get back
some market which the South East Asian giants had carved a niche
for themselves, such as Singapore. This would free up some A319s,
which would give Air India some breathing
space with respect to the narrow-body fleet, since two A319s
CD, the `optical storage' plane VT-SCD and CE, the `energy
emission' plane VT-SCE had left the fleet and been returned to the
lessors in March 2014, after some yeoman service to the airline.

My Government servant friend from Bhopal Mr. Talking maintains
detailed logs of movements of Air India planes, including the
narrow-body fleet. On Fri, 21 Mar 2014 in the early hours of the
morning, he informed me that ANL,
the `cancellation/annul' plane VT-ANL and NM, the `distance
(nautical mile)' plane VT-ANM were both on the ground that day.
ANA was doing AI 995, ANB AI 302, AND AI 143, ANE AI 380, ANG AI
310, ANH AI 121, ANI was a DEL, ANK doing AI 116, ANN AI 349, and
ANO, AI 113.

On Saturday 22 March 2014, Mr Talking informed me that Air India
were keeping AND the `connector' (VT-AND) to operate the
Australia flight, else it would have done the morning Bengaluru
flight AI 803, which was done by a jam-packed A321, with some lucky
passengers getting a lucky upgrade. The A321 in question was PJ,
the `not-so-funny plane VT-PPJ. WA, the `wide-bodied aircraft'
VT-IWA (one of the two A332s in the fleet) had gone back to
Mumbai a few days back to the BOM-MAA-SIN run, since the other
WB, the `wide bodied' plane had been on the ground. All this
information was from him in the morning. That day (22 March
2014), either VT-IWA or VT-IWB would do the AI 101 BOM-DEL
segment, and the morning Delhi-Chennai flight AI 439 would go
back to the higher capacity A332 (as compared to the
Dream)liners) from the next day (23 March), and the morning
Bengaluru flight would possibly get a Dream)liner.
The previous day (21 March 2014) had a B77W VT-ALT operating AI
439, the morning DEL-MAA flight.

The capacities of the planes in Air India's fleet are the following:
B744: F/J/Y 12/28/385
B77W: F/J/Y 04/35/303
B77L: F/J/Y 08/35/195
A332: F/J/Y --/24/255
B788: F/J/Y --/18/238
A321: F/J/Y --/12/170
A320: F/J/Y --/20/120, --/12/138, --/--/168
A319: F/J/Y --/08/114, --/--/144
B738: F/J/Y --/--/186 [With IX, Air India Express]
CRJ7: F/J/Y --/--/68, --/--/74 [with CD, Air India Regional/Alliance Air]
AT42: F/J/Y --/--/48 [with CD, Air India Regional/Alliance Air]

His Saturday 22 March 2014 morning table showed the following:

VT-ANA, the `elder brother' (ANnA) plane doing AI 115
VT-ANB, the `studious' (notebook) plane doing AI 461
She would turn around as AI 113 from ATQ, and
continue to BHX via DEL.
VT-AND, the `connector' plane being at DEL for the
next Australia flight at 01:15 pm
VT-ANE, the `North-East' plane doing AI 314
VT-ANG, the `New Generation' plane doing AI 381
VT-ANH, the `New Hope' plane doing AI 301
VT-ANI, the `Princess' plane doing AI 439 the Chennai morning
flight with more loads than the Bengaluru flight.
The Princess would come in from Chennai and turn
around as AI 20 to CCU.
VT-ANJ, the `younger brother' (ANuJ) plane doing AI 348
VT-ANK, the `Egyptian' plane (ANKh) doing AI 142 (CDG) and turn around
VT-ANL, the `cancellation/Annul' plane doing AI 120 (FRA) and turn around
VT-ANM, the `distance' (Nautical Mile) plane being at BOM
VT-ANN, the `brainy' plane (Artificial Neural Network) doing AI 131
VT-ANO, the `negation' plane doing AI 307

The next day 23 March, 2014 (Sunday) wasn't one on which he would
rest. Mr Talking told me that ANK and ANL would do CDG/FRA, and
that ANG had been grounded in Singapore the previous day. In its
place, VT-ALF did the DXB run due to the grounding.
His table for the morning showed the following:
ANA: AI 115
ANB: AI 114
AND: AI 301
ANE: AI 317
ANG: SIN
ANH: AI 505
ANI: AI 307
ANJ: AI 348
ANK: DEL
ANL: DEL
ANM: BOM
ANN: AI 131
ANO: AI 381

AI make the switch between types when needed, and do not
put a B77L/W on a domestic route unless really needed. For
instance (Rishul should find this interesting because he
mentioned AI 126/7): AI 126/7 is usually a packed B77W between
HYD and DEL, and with good cargo loads, but on 24 Feb 2014, it
was an A321, VT-PPN doing the job. (I was ruing my lost
opportunity of flying another wide-body domestically, but was
somewhat pacified to see PPN on the next flight out of HYD: I was
on AI 840, the previous flight, on a scheduled A319) Narrow-body
switches on the AI 126/7 route are not that often, slightly lower
loads have sometimes seen a DEL-based Dream)liner doing the job
last year, for instance.
They often change the gauge on domestic
narrow-body segments, seamlessly juggling between
A319/A320/A321s, and even up-gauging them on occassion. The
DEL-CCU route in autumn last year saw up to THREE, yes three
Dream)liner flights on some routes which would have otherwise
seen narrow-bodies.

DEL's domestic departure banks give excellent flexibility for
handling otherwise cascading delays, and IRROPS handling.
AI's narrow-body management at BOM is quite good, Jason, you
would have also seen this. The wide-bodies tan themselves on the
tarmac. IRROPS in the network are managed through both DEL and
BOM. Having been in a few IRROPS situations as a passenger made
me thank my stars I was on AI, and not any other airline.
---
Links to my 84 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/


Last edited by sumantra on Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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ameya
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR Sir. From jotting down memories of your old chandigarh trips and remembering the movie played in 1980s!

You would notice that the timing of IT600 had moved by few minutes from 2008 to 2009. This was done to accommodate more connections on DEL-IXC leg with the new timings helping connect flights from PNQ,MAA,HYD,BLR

I had seen the IXC airport just before it was inaugurated. Glad to know that the operations have come up well. It is way bigger than the earlier 3 BHK structure.

The sandwich does not very nice in line with your description. Spicejet food has seen more ups and downs than its fortunes I suppose.

The appendix section is interesting with all the AI ops which I assume will see changes once integrated terminal is operational at CSIA
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
From jotting down memories of your old chandigarh trips and remembering the movie played in 1980s!
Thanks a lot Sir, for your constant encouragement! Yes, I have many memories of Chandigarh, a city close by, which has seen me travel by road and by air, a few times!
ameya wrote:
You would notice that the timing of IT600 had moved by few minutes from 2008 to 2009. This was done to accommodate more connections on DEL-IXC leg with the new timings helping connect flights from PNQ,MAA,HYD,BLR
As usual, I would not have noted such intricacies. My guess is that you would have been instrumental in this efficient route planning, personally!
ameya wrote:
I had seen the IXC airport just before it was inaugurated. Glad to know that the operations have come up well. It is way bigger than the earlier 3 BHK structure.
3BHK: ha ha! This is a nice example of a small but well-maintained structure, done under some severe space constraints,and done with the old structure subsumed. I would rate this construction a bit better on the efficiency side, as compared to PNQ for instance, where I think they did little and took a lot of time, and had a large part complete in-operational while construction elsewhere went on. I am talking about the earlier renovations at PNQ, from the pre-2007(?) little shed.
ameya wrote:
The sandwich does not very nice in line with your description. Spicejet food has seen more ups and downs than its fortunes I suppose.
Ha ha!
ameya wrote:
The appendix section is interesting with all the AI ops which I assume will see changes once integrated terminal is operational at CSIA
Right Sir, there have been a few other changes as well, which I haven't formally kept track of. It was Mar'14 when Jason's question had got me interested in International connectors, and also led me to enquire on various facets of AI's DEL hub, and the procedure regarding various combinations. It is heartening to note that AI now advertise the procedure widely in their in-flight magazine.
Thanks once again, Sir.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra - you should post your AI intl summary in a separate thread - will be useful to separate and can be updated as there's new information.
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sumantra
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
Sumantra - you should post your AI intl summary in a separate thread - will be useful to separate and can be updated as there's new information.
Away for 2.5months, and still Nimish is as sharp and up-to-date as ever Smile Jokes apart, yes, I did post it on Rishul's awesome CSIA T2+AI WB trip report, and for the record, in this one, but yes, I think I should update it, and maintain it at some place. I had done it in answer to Jason's questions, and now, I find it useful for my own travels, though quite a bit has changed with AI's ops since then. i wanted to have a spreadsheet, but I guess there is too much non-structured information to put in one, so I guess an ASCII file will suffice.
Thanks, Sumantra.
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading 2 TRs from you in a day .... what luck

- I thought north indias favourite alcoholic beverage was whiskey Wink
- you have the date, aircraft type and PNR from flights 8 years ago. What, no seat number and registration tsk tsk tsk
- Thanks for the IXC report written with your customary background information and humour. Great!

- It took me 7 hours (with multiple breaks) to read the rest of it Laughing
What can I say, so so much information. I think J. R. R. Talking will be asking you for information now
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stealthpilot wrote:
Reading 2 TRs from you in a day
Thank you for the kind words, stealthpilot!
stealthpilot wrote:
- I thought north indias favourite alcoholic beverage was whiskey Wink
We Delhi'ites go by the Doctor's advice in summer: `drink lots of fluids'. We take it by the word, since the term `fluid' includes liquids and gases, and volatile liquids with specific gravity less than one, come well within the purview of the term Smile Beer and whisky both have their steadfast followers, and there are rum-bhakts as well Razz
stealthpilot wrote:
- you have the date, aircraft type and PNR from flights 8 years ago. What, no seat number and registration
Just started keeping records since the early 2000s: at that time, I wasnt much bothered with seat numbers and registrations. It was just a plane, and a window seat Sad
stealthpilot wrote:
- Thanks for the IXC report written with your customary background information and humour.
Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it as much as I did, when typing it Smile
stealthpilot wrote:
- It took me 7 hours (with multiple breaks) to read the rest of it Laughing What can I say, so so much information. I think J. R. R. Talking will be asking you for information now
He he...thank you Smile I just did it as an exercise in response to Jason's AMD query, and found myself getting interested deeper and deeper into schedules and hubbing. Thankfully, I also managed to remain a good hudbby in this period Razz
Thank you once again, stealthpilot!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Sumantra, you should post AI hub-spoke activities for all the major cities around India in a tabular format. This information will be very useful for anyone looking for connectivity from AI DEL hub. This is a very extensive compilation of AI hub/spoke links. I agree with you that after the modernization of DEL airport, CCU passenger find it convenient to fly out via DEL. I have described this in my earlier posts also. A well thought out trip report.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
@ Sumantra, you should post AI hub-spoke activities for all the major cities around India in a tabular format. This information will be very useful for anyone looking for connectivity from AI DEL hub. This is a very extensive compilation of AI hub/spoke links.
Thank you, Sir. I guess I will do this soon, and maintain an up-to-date document. This one is quite outdated by now.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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