Air India, the most prominent International Carrier from India, has been laying down plans to get even bigger by the day. Also though the US operations of the airline have been loss-making in the past, it is hoping that they will be able to charge the non-stop premium to India and bypass the transition via the middle-east. Delhi San Francisco Air India flights were launched three times a week in December 2015 and then doubled in frequency to 6 times a week in November 2016 and recently increased to 9 times a week.
Air India started a fifth freedom flight between London and Newark, by launching an Ahmedabad – London – Newark flight. They began flights to Madrid as well in December 2016 and took over the Delhi – Vienna flights from Austrian. I would say that is a spectacular show given they are going in all directions. They also have killed the London – Newark segment and added Bangalore – London in its place.
We earlier wrote about the Air India flight to Washington DC from Delhi. This went live on 7 July 2017 as well and is operating three times a week as of now. Next, in line, the launches to Stockholm & Copenhagen, have also completed and they are operating normally there. There has been much conversation on Air India launching flights to Los Angeles; however, that decision has been put on hold.
With the induction of 787s completed, Air India is still, however, trying to put them to good use. They added more flights to Sydney and are trying to explore more flights to Melbourne as well. Israel got 3X a week flights too, being the first ones to be able to overfly Saudi Arabian airspace to access Israel.
In August, Air India planned to launch non-stop flights from Mumbai to New York JFK this winter. Air India has finally announced the route. It will be a 3x weekly flight starting December 7, 2018.
The schedule for the flight is,
AI 105 BOM0100 – 0655JFK 357 77W
AI 106 JFK1105 – 1210+1BOM 357 77W
The schedule is similar to what Air India has for New Delhi to Washington DC and San Francisco routes in terms of a turnaround at USA airports. This is in addition to the one-stop AI 101/102 that Air India offers to JFK via New Delhi.
Economy class starts at INR 60k roundtrip,
And Business Class at INR 2.2 lakhs roundtrip
First class seats are on sale starting at INR 4.82 lakhs roundtrip.
At least Air India is taking steps to improve aircraft utilisation for now. 3 Boeing 777-300ER,
- VT-ALO (last flight BOM-BOM Aug 9)
- VT-ALT (last flight EWR-BOM Aug 14)
- VT-ALU (last flight DEL-NAG Sept 22)
are out of service for quite a long time. It will be interesting to see if they use one for this route.
It is good to see Air India expanding out of Mumbai. They neglected it in favour of building their hub at New Delhi airport. Air India recently added a flight to Frankfurt from Mumbai. Now let’s see if they add a flight to Nairobi also as they tweeted a year ago. What’s left to see is if Air India will ever provide a competitive product on its long-haul aircraft. United’s Polaris equipped Boeing 777-300ER is going to start operations on Mumbai-Newark from October 27, 2018.
With this, Air India will offer 36 weekly non-stop flights each way between India and USA. Air India has indeed kept its promise at least this one. It is good to see Air India expanding out of Mumbai. The flight will further strengthen Air India’s position in the India-USA market. Now I am waiting for Delta to announce their nonstop route to Mumbai.
Will you travel on Air India’s new Mumbai-JFK flight?