Air India will operate six flights a week.
India’s national air carrier Air India will double the flight service from Delhi to San Francisco from November 21 onwards. Air India flies thrice a week on the route now.
The Times of India reported that the flight carrier is cashing in on the travel time cut-down by strong tailwinds. Air India is the only Indian carrier that provides direct flights to North America.
“The flight is popular because it saves around two hours flying over the Pacific though distance is longer. The increased patronage was the reason for decision to make it six flights a week,” Air India regional executive director Captain S Arulmani said, at an event held in Chennai to promote the direct service in southern cities.
Air India has nonstop flights from Delhi to New York, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco. The Mumbai-based Jet Airways goes only to one North American city, Toronto, via Amsterdam. Gulf carriers such as Qatar Airway also own a large share of the India-North America traffic.
Reports say that the expansion of services in this route will also affect the ticket price and rates may fall soon.
The airline is already operating feeder flights from Coimbatore, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi considering the number of passengers from southern cities. According to the company, most of the international passengers are from the south.
“Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kochi contribute the maximum number of passengers,” said Air India general manager commercial Nirbhik Narang.
“The US consulate in Chennai was keen to promote tourism by working with destination management companies and travel industry. We also have facilities for group appointments at the consulate for issuing visa,” he added.
The passengers can complete their immigration and customs formalities at Chennai airport so that they can directly go the boarding area at Delhi’s T3 terminal.
Air India had launched its flight to Newark, New Jersey from Ahmedabad, Gujarat via London on August 15. Recently it had announced plans to launch flight service to Washington as part of international expansion plans.