A tail parade of each of Air India's Boeing aircraft as in 2011. The 747-400, 777-300ER, 777-200LR and 737-800.
A tail parade of each of Air India's Boeing aircraft as in 2011. The 747-400, 777-300ER, 777-200LR and 737-800.

Air India’s New Delhi San Francisco schedule ignores Bangalore

Air India has loaded the schedule of its much anticipated New Delhi San Francisco non-stop service, into the global distribution system.

AI173 departs* New Delhi at 02:45 and arrives San Francisco International at 06:00
AI174 departs* San Francisco International at 10:00 and arrives New Delhi at 15:35 the next day
*all departures on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays

Yet, inexplicably, the carrier has virtually ignored India’s technology capital, Bangalore, the station with one of the, if not the highest traffic to San Francisco.

Virtually every foreign airline operating the Bangalore San Francisco route goes out of their way to reduce connection times at their hub airports to ensure the lowest overall trip duration, all in an effort to gain passengers. Lufthansa leads the pack with a slim 85 minutes. In comparison Air India has connection times of about four hours in each direction at its New Delhi hub, thus negating all the benefits of their non-stop flight. By not amending its New Delhi Bangalore schedule the airline makes an outbound passenger from Bangalore to San Francisco to fly AI 404 which departs at 20:15 and reaches New Delhi at 23:00 and then wait almost four hours to connect to AI173 to San Francisco at 02:45. On the return the passenger reaches at 15:35 and then has to wait over 4.5 hours at Delhi and connect to AI 504 to Bangalore at 20:10.

Emirates is the fastest with a overall trip duration of 22h10m from Bangalore to San Francisco and 21h45m on the return. Hong Kong’s DragonAir and Cathay Pacific are close behind at 22h15m and 23h05m. Lufthansa takes 23 hours onward, but returns in a record time of 21h15m. Air India’s total trip duration 23h15m to San Francisco and 23h10m on the return.

Has Air India forgotten that Bangalore is known in airline circles as the station with the highest yielding economy class traffic in India? The technology companies want to keep their workers happy, and are willing to pay the higher fares with their 100% frequent flier mileage accumulation and schedule flexibility.

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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