In an exciting development aimed at enhancing travel convenience between Kerala and the United Kingdom, British Airways is set to introduce a direct flight connecting London and Kochi.
Recent media reports indicate that discussions between Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) and British Airways have taken place, pointing to a promising collaboration.
The launch of this highly anticipated direct service is expected to take place within the next three months. By eliminating the need for layovers or connecting flights, this new route promises to streamline the journey and offer travellers a hassle-free and straightforward travel experience between the two destinations.
British Airways Assesses Passenger Amenities and Baggage Handling at Kochi Airport
In preparation for the forthcoming direct flight, British Airways has conducted an assessment of passenger amenities and baggage handling procedures at Kochi Airport.
Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), recognizing the long-standing demand for European connectivity among expatriates, has placed a strong emphasis on expanding its direct flight offerings to various European destinations.
During the Routes World Conference held in Las Vegas in 2022, representatives from CIAL held a meeting with British Airways representatives. CIAL officials presented detailed information about the airport’s profile, highlighting its range of facilities and services.
Increased Convenience for Keralites in the UK
The introduction of the British Airways direct flight is expected to bring considerable convenience and comfort to the significant population of Keralites residing in the United Kingdom. Malayali communities in the UK have long expressed their desire for increased direct flight options between London and Kerala.
Currently, Air India is the only airline providing direct service on this route, operating three weekly flights between London and Kochi. Although Air India’s direct service, launched in 2019, has been successful, the route was subsequently altered to Gatwick-Kochi-London. This alteration often leaves passengers reliant on connecting flights via various Middle Eastern airports for their travel needs.
Furthermore, due to Air India being the sole operator on the London-Kochi route, airfares for this journey tend to be consistently high. The cost of a round-trip economy class ticket on Air India’s flights between Kochi and London can vary significantly, ranging from Rs 65,000 to Rs 1 lakh, depending on demand.
New Player to Introduce Competitive Pricing and Expanded Options
With the entry of British Airways into the market, travellers can anticipate more competitively priced airfare options. This development will not only benefit Keralites residing in and around London but also those living in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
The demand for travel between Kerala and the UK has grown due to the opening of the country’s health sector to foreigners and an increase in students pursuing further education in the UK. Additionally, there has been a significant influx of healthcare personnel from Kerala to the UK.
The introduction of a new direct flight option between London and Kochi by British Airways signifies a positive step toward meeting the needs of travellers seeking convenience, affordability, and expanded connectivity.
(Source and Inputs from Times of India)
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