BD to switch A330 to... Amritsar.

Old Jul 7, 11, 10:36 pm
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BD to switch A330 to... Amritsar.

It's been rumoured for so long that its almost a surprise that BD have finally sent out a press release to confirm it.

Yep - Amritsar, three days a week. Good to see BD looking at new routes but alas, that'll mean pulling the A330 off somewhere else.

And those of us with even vaugely short memories will remember bmi's attempt to fly to India before. How long did that last?

Anyway, here's the announcement:

Code:
The latest addition to the bmi route network will be Amritsar in India, flying from 13 October*.
Find out more about this great destination, our timetables and fares below. 
With flights 3 times per week and fantastic service on board our A330
 Airbus planes, complimentary meals and drinks are all included within
 Economy, making sure you will arrive in style and comfort knowing 
there is no quicker way of reaching this incredible region. 


Business Class customers will benefit from a 60” seat pitch and seat
 recline of 17", electronic seat controls, in-seat power, an 8” personal video screen and comfortable noise cancelling headphones.
 

Economy passengers will also benefit from 32” seat pitch with a 
recline of six inches and a personal 6” seat back video screen.  
A wide range of blockbuster films, TV programmes, music and games 
channels will be offered throughout both cabins on the in-flight 
entertainment system.
 
Prices start from just £659 return, so there’s never been a better time to book 
than now – book your flights today.

Amritsar is the home to the Sikh shrine Harmandir Sahib, also known 
as the Golden Temple. The name ‘Amritsar’ comes from the pool that
surrounds the temple and means ‘holy pool of nectar’ - it’s hard to believe
something so tranquil is only a stones throw away from the busy streets of Punjab. 
The overwhelming gurdwara (temple) itself is
plated in gold, surrounded by decorative marble walkways and is the
most visited attraction in india, having more visitors than the famous 
Taj Mahal. 

As well as being a religious centre for many Sikhs around the world, Amritsar has a lot to offer with its old markets, souks and 
traditional ‘dhabas’ (Indian cafés), or for a more modern twist  there 
are various shopping malls, hotels and restaurants to choose from.
Edited to add, the schedule is now at the bottom of the rumour thread... please delete if you think it's more appropriate there, or here now that it's official?

Last edited by lorkers; Jul 7, 11 at 10:48 pm
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Old Jul 8, 11, 12:43 am
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Arrr yes the Mumbai route Place your bets on how many weeks/months this new experiement will last... 1000 miles for your thoughts
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Old Jul 8, 11, 1:26 am
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My email is a little different. It includes an interesting promo:
Services will operate from London Heathrow via Almaty in Kazakhstan on a wide-bodied A330 and will offer a full service Business Class and Economy Cabin. You will also benefit from unlimited pieces of hold baggage up to 23kg in Economy and up to 46kg in Business.
Anyone want to take them up on their offer? Think of checking in 1000 balloons.
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Old Jul 8, 11, 1:45 am
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I really hope this route will bring the traffic BMI expects. Looking at the map, still wondering why they do not fly directly to KTM, I don't recall another direct flight from LHR. Plus, they would close the Z2-BKK-KTM loophole
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Old Jul 8, 11, 2:20 am
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Originally Posted by lorkers View Post
It's been rumoured for so long that its almost a surprise that BD have finally sent out a press release to confirm it.
Rumoured? It was in the press release last month.

http://www.businesstraveller.com/new...amritsar-route

The Northern Indian city will be served three times a week by Bmi starting on October 13.

Flights, which are still subject to government approval, will be operated by an A330 with an en route stop in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The aircraft is configured with 36 business (60 inches of legroom with 50 degree angle of recline) and 196 economy class seats (32 inches of legroom).
.
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Old Jul 8, 11, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by CAlex View Post
I really hope this route will bring the traffic BMI expects. Looking at the map, still wondering why they do not fly directly to KTM, I don't recall another direct flight from LHR. Plus, they would close the Z2-BKK-KTM loophole
Because KTM yields are rubbish. Mind you, ATQ makes little sense in that respect

Plus AI will plug the KTM gap when they eventually join
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Old Jul 8, 11, 3:55 am
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Originally Posted by Shimon View Post
My email is a little different. It includes an interesting promo:


Anyone want to take them up on their offer? Think of checking in 1000 balloons.
Given that helium balloons weigh less than air does your baggage allowance increase when you check them in?
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Old Jul 8, 11, 4:33 am
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Originally Posted by sigma421 View Post
Given that helium balloons weigh less than air does your baggage allowance increase when you check them in?
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Old Jul 8, 11, 5:20 am
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If you're minded to go to India - Amritsar and The Golden Temple are well worth a visit.
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Old Jul 9, 11, 3:35 am
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Indeed, the Golden Temple is quite fantastic.

FWIW, both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Airways seem to get a huge number of transfer passengers (including many Sikh pilgrims - particularly from BHX) to ATQ from the UK.
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Old Jul 9, 11, 3:49 am
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This might work, not just for pilgrims, but for the Sikh diaspora in the UK visiting folks back in Panjab. The pricing is a little high compared to competitors. That might need to be looked at.

I might try and get a go on this and use an upgrade evoucher, though I'd have to look up how that would work - haven't caught up on the recent developments on this.
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Old Jul 9, 11, 6:12 am
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A seat recline of (just) 17 inches in business? Is this a so-called enhancement?
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Old Jul 9, 11, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
FWIW, both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Airways seem to get a huge number of transfer passengers (including many Sikh pilgrims - particularly from BHX) to ATQ from the UK.
Absolutely right, they do very well with loads.
I am surprised that BMI has come in at £659 as a starter, even though this is a direct flight it is priced quite a way over competitors. Especially given that lots of the passengers on HY and T5 travelling onto Amritsar, are very price conscious, and they will definitely put up with a connection if it means saving a few pounds.

Obviously BMI has decided there is a big enough market willing to pay it or at least I hope there is for their sake.
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