India - It's Closer Than You Think With Qantas' New Non-Stop Flights

Sydney, 4 September 2004

Qantas is the only airline to offer non-stop flights between Australia and India following the departure this morning of the first of three weekly services to Mumbai.

The inaugural service, Qantas flight QF123, will arrive in Mumbai at 9pm today. The return flight, QF124, will arrive in Sydney tomorrow morning.

Qantas Head of Sales Rob Gurney said the non-stop connection between Sydney and Mumbai renewed a long-standing relationship between the airline and India which began in 1947 when Qantas flights operated to Calcutta en route to London.

"Qantas and India have enjoyed a long friendship so it's great to be flying there again," Mr Gurney said.

"Now with our non-stop services, India is closer than you think. Flying time is 12 hours from Sydney and there's no more waiting at international airports for a connecting flight, so your holiday or business trip can start sooner.

"Qantas also offers the best of both worlds with modern Australian and Indian cuisine prepared by Indian chefs using the freshest local produce and Qantas' award-winning inflight entertainment featuring both English and Hindi movie and music channels.

"Our flights are operated by two-class Boeing 747-300 aircraft, which are undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment."

Mr Gurney said travel between Australia and India was on the rise.

"In the last three years travel between our two countries has grown by almost 30 per cent," he said.

"The growing trade relationship has increased demand for business travel and more people are visiting friends and relatives or coming to Australia for education.

"The number of Indians travelling to Australia is expected to grow about 15 per cent per annum until 2010."

Qantas flies to India on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with services connecting with domestic flights to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Goa, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Qantas Airways Ltd. (USA) (65)