Something to declare: Cheaper flights to India; Less choice from Birmingham; Bargain flights to the US

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The Independent Travel

When the airlines' new winter schedules come into effect tomorrow, the range of options to India will be wider than ever - and fares should continue to fall.

British Airways (0870 850 9 850; www.ba.com) introduces a new non-stop flight from Heathrow to Bangalore. This route faces immediate competition from Air France (0870 142 43 43; www.airfrance.com) - the French airline has a new route from Paris Charles de Gaulle, with connections from several UK airports.

BA's links with Mumbai (formerly Bombay) become twice-daily, in anticipation of BMI increasing its flights on the route to daily; and the number of BA flights to Chennai (formerly Madras) trebles to six a week.

The well-regarded privately owned Indian carrier, Jet Airways (0800 026 5626; www.jetairways.com) is launching daily flights from Heathrow to Delhi.

In addition, Hyderabad is a new route for KLM (08705 074 074; www.klm.com) from Amsterdam, with connections from 14 UK airports.

Warning of the week: less choice from Birmingham

The new airline schedules are not entirely positive. When the low-cost airline Duo went bust last year, most of its routes from Birmingham ended. But British Airways' CitiExpress short-haul subsidiary picked up the links from Birmingham to Rome and Vienna. Sadly, they have proved unprofitable and will end from tomorrow.

British Airways has already said that it will axe six of its remaining 17 European routes from Manchester. Flights to Cork, Nice, Pisa, Rome, Stuttgart and Venice will finish at the end of the winter season in March next year.

Bargain of the week: bankruptcy sale across the Atlantic

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are fuming at the expansion plans of Delta. The US airline recently went into "Chapter 11 Bankruptcy", giving it protection from its creditors, and has now embarked on an aggressive route-expansion and price-cutting campaign.

In a deal with the discount flight specialist Airline Network (0870 234 9915; www.airlinenetwork.co.uk), it is selling tickets for travel from Gatwick between 1 November and 15 March at very low fares.

The best deals are to the western US: Las Vegas from £269, and either San Francisco or Los Angeles from £279. These are for travel via Atlanta - to which the return fare is £270, the same as to Orlando. In other words, the connecting flights are either free or very cheap.

These fares are available until 17 November, and do not apply over Christmas and New Year between 17 December and 7 January.

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