Air India to start Kochi-London direct flight from August 18

The AI 150/149 aircraft will arrive in Kochi at 03.45 am and will depart for London at 05.50 am on Wednesdays.

Published: 07th August 2021 05:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2021 05:41 PM   |  A+A-

For representational purpose

By Express News Service

KOCHI: With the United Kingdom moving India from its Red to Amber list, a categorisation facilitating international travel during Covid time, Air India has decided to operate direct service to Heathrow from Kochi on Wednesdays starting August 18. In a bid to attract more European carriers, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has decided to waive the parking and landing fee for carriers from Europe.

Kochi is the only international airport in the state which offers direct air connectivity to London. Air India will deploy Dreamliner category aircraft to operate service in this sector. The AI 150/149 aircraft will arrive in Kochi at 03.45 am and will depart for London at 05.50 am on Wednesdays.

“Connectivity to European countries has been a long-pending demand raised by the expats. We have waived parking and landing fees for the airlines operating direct services to London. The CIAL believes that this gesture will give an impetus for our efforts to attract carriers from other parts of the world. We hope that within a year, we will be able to host more foreign airlines,” said CIAL Managing Director S Suhas.

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With the commencement of new flight to London, thousands of expats stranded due to Covid restrictions will be able to proceed to their destinations in India and the UK from August 18. The flight will take 10 hrs from Kochi to arrive in Heathrow. Entering the UK from places on the amber list requires three Covid-19 tests — the first, at least three days prior to departure; the second, on the day of arrival or before Day 2; and the third, on or after Day 8.

Home quarantine for 10 days is also mandatory. For UK nationals who are fully vaccinated, neither quarantine nor the eighth-day test is required. People who have been fully vaccinated in the United States and other European countries will not need to quarantine on arrival in England or take the eight-day test.

Meanwhile, the passenger departures to UAE from Kochi have gained momentum after the UAE authorities decided to accept Indians who comply with the guidelines. The Kochi airport started facilitating departure operations to the UAE on August 5.

As many as 450 passengers have flown to the UAE from CIAL till Friday. The airport scheduled six departure operations to UAE on Saturday and 600 passengers boarded the flights operated by Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, and Air India Express operated services.


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