British Airways has put in place a flexible rebooking policy for all passengers due to fly to / from India up to and including Tuesday 14 April 2020.
This follows a decision by the Government Of India to withdraw tourist visas from Friday 13 March until Wednesday 15 April 2020. Travellers of all nationalities from certain countries must also enter quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Passengers can rebook on to alternative BA flights to India up to Saturday 1 August 2020.
At the time of publication, refunds are not permitted. Nor are changes of departure airport / destination. However, if you have not yet started your journey, you can use the value of your ticket as part-payment for a future booking within 12 months of your original intended date of travel.
Also, at this time, bar frequency reductions between Heathrow and Mumbai, BA flights to India are scheduled to operate. In the event your flight is cancelled, you will be entitled to a full refund.
Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com. You can also contact BA by telephone to rebook. However, call volumes are very high. Unless you need to rebook urgently, it is best to wait.
If you are booked to fly with BA to / from India on a codeshare booking through another airline, such as American Airlines, you will need to contact the airline that issued your ticket to be rebooked.
Virgin Atlantic is to return to Mumbai for the third time with the relaunch of flights from London Heathrow from Sunday 27 October 2019.
Virgin Atlantic and Mumbai has a long history.
Virgin first launched flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai following the liberalisation of services between the UK and India in 2005. This saw a number of airlines, such as bmi British Midland, enter the market and the route was suspended.
The route was launched again in 2012 with different timings in the hope of capturing connecting traffic to Virgin’s North America route network. It was suspended for a second time in 2015 as part of a wide-ranging reshaping of Virgin’s route network towards North American routes.
Since then, Virgin had relied on a codeshare with Jet Airways to serve Mumbai, and following its recent collapse Virgin has now reinstated the route.
This, together with the launch of Tel Aviv and Sao Paulo, does point to Virgin seeking to move beyond North American routes at London Heathrow. What may work in Virgin’s favour this time is a potential future codeshare partnership with Air France and KLM.
Flights will be operated with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and will go on sale at Virgin Atlantic from Tuesday 28 May 2019.
London Heathrow – Mumbai
Depart London Heathrow 10:15 – Arrive Mumbai 00:40 Depart Mumbai 02:55 – Arrive London Heathrow 07:35
British Airways has signed a new codeshare partnership with Indian airline Vistara.
Passengers travelling after Thursday 27 September 2018 from London Heathrow to Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai will be able to book onward connections to a number of domestic destinations in India.
Destinations covered by the codeshare include Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Pune. BA used to fly Amritsar and Kolkata direct. As is the norm for codeshare partnerships, these can only be booked when connecting to/from a BA operated flight between London Heathrow and India. Flights are on sale now at ba.com
From a cursory scan of timetables on ba.com the suitability of connections does vary widely.
On outbound flights from London Heathrow it is possible to secure a connection time of around two hours on many routes as there are BA flights that arrive in Delhi and Mumbai in the morning. However, as BA flights from Delhi to Mumbai to Heathrow leave in the early hours or mid-morning it is difficult to secure an inbound connection without a long connection time or an overnight stay.
Vistara operates a fleet of more than 20 Airbus A320 aircraft in a three class configuration. The airline started operations in 2015 and is a joint-venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons Ltd.
BA has long sought a domestic airline partner in India. It is one of its most important markets, but with a very volatile aviation sector. Many years BA ago did explore securing a local franchise partner, but to no avail.
British Airways has today confirmed the first route to be operated by the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner.
The aircraft will operate on selected flights from London Heathrow to Dehli (Indira Gandhi International Airport) from Sunday 25 October 2015.
One noteworthy aspect is that First cabin on this aircraft has just eight seats, compared to the usual 14 seats on most other aircraft. The exact design of the cabin is yet to be revealed. However, BA claim the First cabin features extra storage space and a single dial to control seat recline, headrest, lumbar adjustment and lighting. It also features a larger TV screen and a new touchscreen handset. That said, the seat plan for the cabin shows two rows of seats in a 1-2-1 configuration so we do not expect any radical changes.
The Club World business class, World Traveller premium economy and World Traveller economy cabins are expected to be the same as the Boeing 787-8 aircraft that are currently in operation.
The aircraft will have 216 seats in total with 42 Club World business class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, 39 World Traveller plus premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and 127 World Traveller economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.
The Club World cabin is split between two parts of the aircraft with just two rows of seats in a demi-cabin behind First class (a further four rows are behind the galley) and we suspect this will prove quite popular.
There are a lot of anecdotal comments about the relatively poor comfort of the Boeing 787-8 cabin on BA so it will be interesting to see if any improvements are to be made.
The flights will operate five times a week on the BA257 from London Heathrow to Delhi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and the BA256 from Delhi to London Heathrow on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. This replaces a Boeing 777 on this rotation. The other daily flight to Dehli (BA143 & BA142) will continue to be operated by a Boeing 747.
Further route announcements for the Boeing 787-900 are expected in due course. Future routes are expected to include Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Kuala Lumpur.