AIR India last Friday started daily flights to Rome and Milan with its Boeing 787 aircraft in a two-class arrangement.
The flight will operate four days a week on the triangular New Delhi-Rome-Milan-New Delhi route, and the New Delhi-Milan-Rome-New Delhi route for the other three days.
Ankur Khanna, managing director of the New Delhi-based Tristar Holidays, said that the direct flights are “huge accelerators", given Italy’s popularity among Indian travellers.
“Arrivals in Rome cover excursions to southern Italy, and Milan is the gateway for Lake Como and northern Italy. The region has excellent shopping and gastronomic offerings that Indians are attracted to. This direct flight will increase arrivals from India to Italy and southern Switzerland,” said Khanna.
Rajendra Churiwala, director-eastern region, IATA Agents Association of India, said: “If the fares are kept at competitive levels then this flight will be a success and increase outbound travel to southern Europe, as it cuts down the transit time wasted when travellers fly other carriers to Italy.
“It is possible that outbound travellers from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh going to Europe may transit at New Delhi to use this flight.”