Virgin Atlantic doubles Delhi; for all airlines, London-Delhi seats down 25%
In 2019, London Heathrow – Delhi – London Heathrow has ~972,000 two-way seats, down almost 17% YOY from ~1.2 million in 2018. And down 25% from nearly 1.3 million in 2015.
Of course, this decline is mainly from the end of Jet Airways in April 2019. Jet Airways operated once-daily between Delhi and London Heathrow and cut 260,000+ seats. It was the third-largest operator after market-leader Air India and second-place BA.
London Heathrow – Delhi decline not just from Jet Airways’ end
In 2019, BA’s capacity reduced by 9% YOY and Air India’s by 3%. Since 2015, BA’s capacity has fallen by 17% and Air India 16%. In contrast, Virgin Atlantic’s increased by 9% YOY and 6% since 2015.
Overall, the decline is from a combination of lost frequency and, importantly, fewer seats per frequency.
Based on November of each year, Heathrow – Delhi departures have dropped from an average of seven-daily in 2015 to five-daily in 2019. And across BA, Air India and Virgin Atlantic, seats per frequency have declined from 270 in 2015 to 253. This hides that BA’s fell 15% from 261 to 223, and Air India 9% from 283 to 256.
This is, of course, primarily from downgauging to B787s. In 2015, 40% of Air India’s capacity was from 342-seat B777-300ERs. It’s now exclusively 256-seat B787-8s. In 2015, 43% of BA’s seats were by 337-seat B747-400s to low-density B787-9s (216 seats) and B777-200s.
Virgin Atlantic to add second daily
Following the relaunch of Mumbai in October 2019, Virgin will be launching a second-daily Delhi service from S20. This will be a morning, which is popular from London. We don’t yet know the timings, but when combined with its existing timings – and Delta relationship – it will inevitably offer stronger connectivity to and from the US.
|Airline||Departure time||Arrival time||Aircraft|
|Source: OAG Schedules Analyser|