Air India’s Washington-Delhi nonstop flight to start in early July

It will offer three nonstop, roundtrip flights per week, projected to bring in an additional 30,000 travelers to DC area.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced on Friday that Air India will launch nonstop service between Washington, DC, and Delhi in early July. India’s national carrier will offer three nonstop, roundtrip flights per week between the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and the Washington Dulles International Airport near the US capital.

It will be Air India’s fifth US getaway after New York, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco.

A press release issued by McAuliffe’s office said the flight will bring in “an additional 30,000 tourist and business travelers and $30 million in total economic impact annually” to the Washington area.

In 2015, the Washington area welcomed more than 122,000 visitors from India, “more than a 25 percent increase from 2014 visitation figures, making India the fourth largest overseas market,” the release said.

“Today, we celebrate a new bridge between India and the Capital Region, showing that Virginia will continue to be open and welcoming to all international travelers,” said McAuliffe.

The Virginia governor said he had met with Air India executives and recruited the airline to Dulles during his November 2015 “trade and marketing mission to India.”

“The Commonwealth has made a significant commitment to growing our relationship with India in recent years and we are proud to be a new United States market with nonstop service from New Delhi,” he said. “I look forward to welcoming many travelers, students, and business leaders to the Commonwealth through this new partnership.”

Air India Delhi-Washington non-stop flight from July (January 17, 2017)
Air India announces new flights to North America; tickets to get cheaper (October 18, 2016)
Air India makes first direct flight from New Delhi to San Francisco to rousing welcome (December 3, 2015)

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “Now, more than ever, we celebrate D.C. values as we continue to embrace the international community and showcase the inclusiveness of the nation’s capital.”

McAuliffe proposed a $1.25 million incentive package over a three-year period next financial year to support Air India and stimulate travel to Virginia through Washington Dulles International Airport, the release said. The District of Columbia will provide $250,000 this year to support the partnership, it said.

Air India Chairman & Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said the airline Air India plans to add 35 new aircraft this year, as part of its “current expansion and consolidation strategy, allowing us to serve both new domestic and international destinations.”

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