Today’s news in brief:
Air India selling international flights for June 1 onwards
Air India has been ahead of the curve in recent weeks, declining to sell flights through April 30 while other airlines were doing so.
It’s therefore interesting to note that the airline has started offering tickets to international destinations, for departures from June 1 onwards. A search from Mumbai to London throws up the following results, with departures prior to June 1 shown as “unavailable”:
Flights to New York were still listed as “unavailable” at the time of writing, including for journeys after June 1:
As it stands, there will be no flights until May 3, though that date could easily change if coronavirus restrictions are extended.
The national flag carrier may have some inside information as to when international service will be permitted, though I still wouldn’t rush to book any flights until I had seen planes actually start to take off again.
InterMiles ‘Stay at Home’ bonus
InterMiles has come up with a catchy covid-19 promotion, offering members a bonus 100 miles for each day of the current lockdown.
To take part in the Stay at Home offer, you must download the InterMiles app and provide permission for the app to access your location. You’ll be required to keep the InterMiles app open in the background for the duration of each day (24 hours), and you’ll receive 100 bonus miles for every day you do so.
All InterMiles members are eligible to take part, and bonus miles should credit your account within ten days of being awarded.
With redemption charges costing 5,000 InterMiles for a one way economy flight from Mumbai to Goa on a low-cost airline, you clearly aren’t going to “get rich quick” with this promotion, but it might be a nice way to top up your account if you are already collecting.
Head over to the InterMiles website for more information on taking part.
Last chance to book a rescue flight to the UK
The UK government has arranged a third round of special charter flights, with departures from a number of Indian cities taking place from April 20-27.
These flights will bring British tourists, short term visitors and their direct dependents back to the UK from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Goa, Kolkata and Mumbai.
Brits abroad are being “strongly advised” by their government to return now, “where and while there are still commercial routes available”.
It sounds as though some travellers stand to be disappointed, as many of the seats on these flights will be filled by those who have already previously registered.
Flights leaving from Kolkata and Chennai (today and tomorrow, respectively) are already closed for booking, suggesting they are full. If you have already booked, and are on a waiting list, you do not need to book again.
Booking portals will close at 23:59 IST today (Sunday, April 19), and UK citizens should refer to this page of the gov.uk website for more details and links to book.
Those displaying symptoms of coronavirus will not be permitted to travel.