National carrier Air India opened reservations for flights between Delhi & Stockholm – the capital of Sweden. The airline had, last week, announced thrice a week frequency between its hub and Indian Capital New Delhi to Stockholm Arlanda. This will be the airlines first connection to Nordic countries. Arlanda airport saw close to 25 million passengers in 2016, half of what New Delhi catered to in the same year.
The airport is a hub for fellow Star Alliance member SAS / Scandinavian Airlines. Currently the airline offers connections via Frankfurt with the second leg being served by code share partner Lufthansa.
The timings gel well with the existing afternoon Bank. AI 167 will depart from Delhi at 1400 hours on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and reach Stockholm at 1820 hours. The return flight will depart as AI 168 at 2105 hours on the same day and arrive in Delhi at 0745 hours the next morning. These flights will give two way connections to all the major domestic markets, further enhancing the Delhi hub of the airline.
The airline had earlier announced flights to Copenhagen and later moved them to Stockholm. The city council of Stockholm had gone in an overdrive to attract the airline and Air India is likely to have got significant discounts from the airport operator to start operations. It needs to be seen if the airline will go ahead with flights to Copenhagen as well. The airline is expected to induct one B787s in July, two in August and the last one in October. The airline is also expected to induct B787-9 soon after that.
The airline is expected to add frequency between Delhi and Sydney / Melbourne, launch flights between Chandigarh and Bangkok along with Kolkata and Bangkok and increase frequency between Delhi and Bangkok.