Come September, Air India will have all its Boeing 777s pressed into service and flights restarted to important destinations like Hong Kong, Seoul, Frankfurt and New York to regain lost international market share.
The airline has eight 777 LR (long range) and twelve 777 ER (extended range) which were grounded during the 59-day strike that crippled the carrier's outbound operations and caused an estimated revenue loss of Rs.620 crore.
"We were most badly hit in the East Asia sector. Hong Kong was the worst hit. We had very good passenger loads and revenue coming in from this sector which mainly accounts for tourists and business travelers; that's why reactivation of these services had become a priority for us," a senior Air India official told IANS here.
"Our 20 aircraft of 777 type will be activated on routes like Hong Kong, Seoul and Osaka in the first phase starting Aug 21, 2012. This will be followed by operations to New York, Frankfurt and Paris," said the official.
After East Asia, services to Europe will be restored first to Frankfurt on Sept 1, 2012, and then New York from Sept 4, 2012.
According to the official, the restoration of services and low fare offer will see Air India's bottom line improve.
The airline is offering a return fare of Rs.12,000, exclusive of taxes, between New Delhi and Hong Kong. It will start offering return tickets to New York, Frankfurt and Paris at the minimum price of Rs.30,000 per ticket.
The airline would also increase the frequency of its New Delhi-Paris and Mumbai-London flights, making them daily services.
The airline is confident of maintaining the new schedule as nearly 230 pilots have joined back and efforts are on to take back the sacked 101 pilots.