Melbourne welcomes non-stop Air India flights to Mumbai

The fresh connection means travellers will no longer need to transit via New Delhi.

By Chris Ashton, December 15 2023
Melbourne welcomes non-stop Air India flights to Mumbai

Victorians can once again swap suburban Melbourne for the exotic wonders of Mumbai in only a single bound with Air India today ending a more than four decade drought of non-stop flights between the cities.

Jetting off thrice-weekly on a Boeing 787, the sub-13 hour flight out of Melbourne supplements the Star Alliance member’s daily Melbourne-Delhi connection, with potential to add more as demand grows.

Given Melbourne welcomes more Indian visitors than any other Australian city last financial year – 433,000 in the 12 months to June – the schedule is unlikely to remain static for long.

  • Taking wing every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, AI311 from Melbourne to Mumbai jets off at 8pm and arrives at 2:35am.
  • On the return, AI310 sees wheels up from Mumbai at 12:50am those same three days and wheels down at 6:10pm. 
Mumbai is renowned for its mesmerising markets and cultural delights.
Mumbai is renowned for its mesmerising markets and cultural delights.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus says Air India’s arrival highlights the benefits of open skies agreements, while also noting the hard work the airport has done in attracting new airlines whilst bolstering capacity with existing airline partners.

“It’s exciting that we will no longer be benchmarking ourselves against pre-pandemic levels in the international market, but instead setting new records,” Argus enthuses.

“Unlocking a city of more than 21 million people is huge for our Indian community as well as the broader Victorian economy and wouldn’t be possible without the security of open skies agreements.”

The Tata Group-owned Air India is undergoing a full-scale transformation at present, beginning with a new logo and livery and extending to a nose-to-tail makeover of its twin-aisle fleet – and yes, that includes the all-new first and business class.

Air India's new business class is expected to roll out across the full twin-aisle fleet.
Air India's new business class is expected to roll out across the full twin-aisle fleet.

A fresh livery red, aubergine and gold highlights will make its grand debut on the airline’s first Airbus A350, which takes wing later this month, before rolling out across the full twin-aisle fleet as part of a $400 million refurbishment project.

By March 2024, it’s expected 33% of the airline’s widebody fleet will have been upgraded.

Recently-unveiled new uniforms designed by Indian couturier Manish Malhotra will also be phased in over the next few months, beginning with the imminent Airbus A350.

It's a fresh look for the Tata Group-owned airline.
It's a fresh look for the Tata Group-owned airline.

Air India’s Flying Returns loyalty program is also in line for a makeover in early 2024, with the airline saying the change will unlock “thousands of new redemption possibilities”.

Qantas also sees the benefits of Melbourne as a gateway to India, with its own non-stop flights to Delhi taking wing six days a week.

22 Jan 2018

Total posts 99

I do wonder, with this EU flights of AI also gets a share of the kangaroo route 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 232

2.35AM landing in Mumbai isn't ideal for a transit. However if the Delhi flight lands at a more pleasant time of day then it is an option.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 138

i thought almost 90% of indian departures happen in the early hours of the day?

05 Feb 2022

Total posts 2

2.30am I guess is relative depending on where in the world it is, and where you have come from.

Best AI connections are MEL BOM LHR and then LHR DEL MEL. If transiting though, the transit city doesnt matter as much ad the airport if its just a few hours there (and BOM is a nice modern airport too, good to try some local cuisine, even for some if that is just trying the Maharaja Mac from the Golden Arches!).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 712

Hmmmm, may be its time to add Delhi and India to my list of holiday destinations, never been there before.  I hear they like cricket too.  Wonder if the people of India enjoy 'cricket banter' the way the Poms do in London/England?  

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 52

Indians love cricket banter, but be warned, they know much more about cricket than the average Aussie. I had one person earlier this year tell me the names of all my state’s Sheffield Shield team! Great place to visit, and the food, the food…

Mmflyer Banned
Mmflyer Banned

15 Dec 2023

Total posts 4

With all the Indian immigrants in Melbourne this route is more like a Indian bus express

Yeah I would think so. There's 1 flight to country of 1.3 Billion and 9-12 daily flights to China (incl HKG) a country of similar population. Simple math. It's non stop profit for airline, they can sell it at higher price for al they care. It will be very popular all year long. 

10 May 2014

Total posts 5

 yes, like all British, Singapore and Cathay flights for the Australian immigrants who live in Hong Kong Singapore and London. 

emd
emd

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Oct 2014

Total posts 12

Having seen the number of transit passengers to India by a visit years ago to the baggage centre at MEL,there will be an adverse affect on SQ flights,particularly the flight late morning.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 162

I have a SQ J class BOM-SIN-MEL booked on points for next October. and when I hears of this I considered if I would try get a direct, but the 2x2x2 787, and lower service standards lead me to dismiss the idea.

It is a 2 hour stop, so enough for a shower, and 3 1/4 longer overall. For business

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 162

(To finish) For business saving the hours, and arriving at 6.10pm for a fresh start the next day makes a lot of sense, but Wes/Fri/Sat suggests the mass is for  Indian ex-Pats in Melbourne (Although there are more Indian Australians from North/Central, than west, that is why Delhi has AI and QF direct flights daily)

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 78

The departure and arrival times in Mumbai are actually convenient to avoid road traffic.  And the Uber "rank" at BOM is enormous, more like a whole carpark.  

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

21 Feb 2022

Total posts 3

Great that MEL is attracting new routes. However Melbourne airport needs a new international terminal. It would hands down be the worst airport to arrive at for a city of 5 million people. Immigration and baggage hall are a dogs breakfast. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 37

Also surely one of the only cities of its size in the western world that doesn't have a non-road option to get to and from the airport. 

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 78

Because airport management is holding out for an underground train that isn't going to happen, rather than accepting a skytrain that is basically ready to go. 

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

The underground suggestion is far more sensible as it allows for future extensions of the rail network.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 78

Fair comment, it's worth considering future expansion.  The proposed alignment looks to be designed so that the airport terminal could be a spur of a line that continues north along the freeway.  Similar to the Elizabeth line to Heathrow.

So again it comes down to: you can only extend a line that actually gets built.  Or, for the same money as a tunnel, build the overground line and a few more stations to the north.


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