India-US frequency to be bolstered to 40 non-stop flights per week
Air India, India’s leading airline and a Star Alliance member, is spreading its wings further in the United States with the launch of its first-ever non-stop service between Mumbai and San Francisco from Dec 15. This closely follows the launch of its three times a week flight between Bengaluru and San Francisco on Dec 2.
This new flight is in line with Air India’s vision to enhance its global footprint and provide the highest levels of service and convenience to its customers. Air India continues to develop Mumbai as an important hub for international as well as domestic traffic, according to an Air India press release.
Read: Air India adds new Mumbai-New York flight from February 2023 (November 24, 2022)
The launch of the Mumbai-San Francisco route will be followed by Mumbai-New York City (JFK), Mumbai-Frankfurt, and Mumbai-Paris. Additional domestic flights originating from Mumbai will also be added.
The flight will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays with the newly- inducted Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. This will take Air India’s India-US frequency to 40 non-stop flights per week.
Presently, Air India operates non-stop flights from Mumbai to Newark, from Delhi to New York, Newark, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Chicago, and from Bengaluru to San Francisco. This will be the third Indian city after Delhi and Bengaluru to have a direct flight to San Francisco.
The first flight AI 179 from Mumbai to San Francisco left Mumbai on time at 1430 hrs to arrive in San Francisco at a convenient 1700 hrs (local time) on the same day. The return flight AI 180 was scheduled to depart from San Francisco at 2100 hrs (local time) to arrive in Mumbai at 0340 hrs+2 days.
Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde virtually flagged off the inaugural flight along with Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Civil Aviation, and Vinod Hejmadi, Chief of Finance, Air India.
The flight witnessed a grand launch with the auspicious lamp-lighting ceremony followed by cake cutting and ribbon cutting in the presence of officials and two senior-most citizens on the flight.
Read: To meet student rush, Air India doubling US flights (July 30, 2021)
Campbell Wilson, CEO & MD, Air India, handed over the boarding pass to the first passenger to have checked in, at the Boarding Gate of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai.
Speaking on the new flight launch, Scindia said, “Today is a historic day for Maharashtra, India, and Air India. The Civil Aviation sector in India is on the cusp of transformation, and India is the third largest civil aviation market in the world with a growth of 10.6% CAGR in the last ten years.”
“Air India has played a significant role in the sector’s transformation in the past and will continue to contribute to the growth of the industry. With Air India’s legacy, culture, and vision, the airline will take Indian Civil Aviation to newer heights,” he said.
Shinde said, “Today is a great moment for the people of Maharashtra, as Air India bridges the distance between Maharashtra and San Francisco.”
“The government is focused to boost the civil aviation sector, and build many more airports, and helipads in other parts of Maharashtra,” he said. “I appreciate Air India launching its service from Mumbai and eagerly await the launch of their other locations from the city.”
“As part of our five-year transformation plan, Vihaan.AI, we plan to significantly enhance connectivity between India’s major cities and prime global destinations,” Wilson said.
“The non-stop flight between India’s financial capital and Silicon Valley is a step towards achieving enhanced customer experience. With the launch of this route, we will have a weekly availability of 40 non-stop flights that will bolster India’s connectivity with the USA.”
The passengers on the inaugural flight from Mumbai to San Francisco were treated to a specially curated goodie bag by Air India, according to the release.
For more information, passengers can log on to: www.airindia.in, visit AI booking offices or contact their travel agent.