NEW DELHI: There are more options for people flying between Delhi and the west with two airlines — Air Italy, which is owned 49% by Qatar Airways, and Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW Air — starting flights to IGI Airport from Friday. Both these airlines offer beyond the connection to North America and within Europe. While Air Italy has major expansion plans with Qatar’s backing, WOW Air is currently in the midst of major restructuring with one Airbus A330 in its widebody fleet as of now.
Air Italy will fly between Delhi and Milan thrice a week. From next Friday, it will operate on Mumbai-Milan route too as many times using its 252-seater Airbus A-330 with 24 business and 228 economy seats. The aircraft has onboard WiFi which will need to be switched off in Indian airspace as India is yet to allow the same, something all international airlines with Internet-onboard also have to do.
Air Italy COO Rossen Dimitrov said the airline is in advanced talks with Vistara for code share and the same could be announced shortly. “We have started flights to New York JFK, Miami earlier this year from our hub Milan Malpensa (MXP)and will add Los Angeles and San Francisco to our network in 2019. Our guests from India can have seamless transfers to these flights. We are a full-service carrier with no hidden charges,” Dimitrov said. Economy passengers wishing to use onboard WiFi will, however, need to pay for the service.
WOW Air will fly thrice a week between Delhi and Reykjavik. It also offers onward flights from there to North America and Europe. However, WOW Air is in the midst of major restructuring and has downsized in recent days.
Iceland’s flag carrier Icelandair had about a month back agreed to acquire WOW. However, that deal fell. Then Indigo Partners, a Phoenix-based private equity firm which owns Frontier, said it had reached an in-principle agreement to invest in WOW.
“We are in the middle of a restructuring and will decide on fleet size. As of now, our wide fleet is of one Airbus A330,” said WOW Air MD Kiran Jain. WOW is a typical low-cost carrier where add-ons like baggage, seat and meals have to be purchased separately.
Incidentally, Icelandair is also learnt to be planning flights to India. WOW’s is the first direct connection between India and Iceland ever. Italy, on the other hand, has regular direct flights to and from India with Air India and Alitalia operating on these sectors.