Air India Boeing 777-237LR VT-ALF Jharkand at New Delhi IGI airport. Photo copyright Vedant Agarwal, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
Air India Boeing 777-237LR VT-ALF Jharkand at New Delhi IGI airport. Photo copyright Vedant Agarwal.

Air India to commence thrice a week New Delhi San Francisco non-stop

At an event in the Indian capital, New Delhi, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani announced the launch of a non-stop flight between New Delhi and San Francisco.

San Francisco will be Air India’s fourth destination in the United States after New York (JFK), Newark, and Chicago O’Hare.

The flights will be operated three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays by the ultra-long range Boeing 777-200LR WorldLiner. The returns would leave on the same day and arrive in to New Delhi two days later. The schedules are not officially announced, though it is expected to have an early morning departure from Delhi and an early morning arrival in to San Francisco. On the return a mid-morning departure from San Francisco with an afternoon arrival in New Delhi.

The Delhi schedule is expected to offer connectivity to major IT destinations within India, including Bangalore.

The announcement coincides with the visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the bay area.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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12 comments

  1. Don’t you think BLR-SFO would have been better? + the tag of the world’s longest route would have given some much needed buzz to the Air India brand.

    • BLR-SFO would have been much better but air India is following hub-spoke and Delhi is the hun for air India so

    • Delhi probably contributes more passengers to SFO compared to Bangalore. As long as AI offers a good connector service (may be using a 787) it will be an interesting fight.

      • Devesh, do you have any data on this ? I would assume its the other way, for SFO, its BLR which contributes more than DEL. Offcourse, for all other international destinations from DEL, since its the hub for all the major Indian Airlines, it carries all the transit passengers also, hence its the major contributor, but I am pretty sure it not the same for SFO.

    • While the concept of one direct flight from SFO to BLR (the route I travel almost 6 to 7 times a year), it won’t work out both for passengers and as well, the Airlines. Trips beyond 14 hours of non-stop is operationally not that profitable for Airlines. More fuel loading, and less passenger revenue/weight. For a passenger, leave those who are in J or F class, especially a Y class passenger sitting for 17+ hours is horrendous and people will stop flying that route. I think this is a much better option as long as they can manage good connecting flights and MOST IMPORTANTLY, on-time performance!

  2. As expected from Air India & the Government, Bangalore gets a raw deal again…the Gulf & European carriers will continue to ferry passengers from Bangalore to North Americas & stake claim to be “Pseudo National Carriers”

    • Well, if travelling on any of the Gulf & European carriers, one would still have to do a 1 stop hop, then why not through T3 of Delhi. Having done the Hub and Spoke through T3 Delhi from Mumbai, i feel it is a much better option then any of the Gulf or European hubs and with the numerous BLR-DEL flight options, connectivity should be seamless and not a problem.
      But then again the debate why not a direct non-stop from BLR-SFO, personally i feel that the T3 Delhi is better suited for the hub and spoke, Alas the few occasions where AI’s planning seems to make sense.

      • Through Check- in is crucial aspect of connection flights. If they cannot do through check-in at the domestic end points, its a great hassle to move the baggage out and check-in again. That is not the case with Gulf or other carriers.

    • I would not write off AI so soon. The fares will be interesting to see.

      • Fares are already out, looking at the introductory fare, forget about the connecting cities, even the people from DEL wouldn’t be thinking of taking this flight. Introductory fare of 96k INR for a return tkt for DEL-SFO !!

  3. Air India has never been the cheapest option available. Would you choose the national carrier for a direct flight with the hippy aunties serving you, or a three hour stopover in Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific for $300-500 LESS?