Air India direct flights from New Delhi to Los Angeles
Several passengers on Monday danced with joy after checking in their baggage for Air India’s inaugural flight from Delhi to Los Angeles via Frankfurt, making it the fastest connecting flight between India and the western coast of the United States.
Air India will now fly daily to Los Angeles, three times from Delhi and four times from Mumbai.
These flights provide the easiest connection for passengers. Incidentally, the flights to LA are AI?s longest flights with 20 hours of flying time and do not involve a change of aircraft, said Air India’s Director for Public Relations, Jitender Bhargava.
Monday’s flight was inaugurated by Civil Aviation Secretary Ajay Prasad.
With its US operations becoming the second largest source of revenue for Air-India, the national carrier has lined up a major expansion plan with more frequencies and links to other destinations beginning next month.
The airline is planning to connect Chicago and Los Angeles with a daily frequency as against six and five services respectively at present.
We now have a daily air flight to Los Angeles from India. We hope that in the near future, we should also be able to link San Francisco and the West Coast. Air India in the last few years has been significantly adding to its capacity in the last 3 years. We have doubled our fleet size and we plan to double it further in the next 2 to 3 years, said V Thulasidas, Chairman and Managing Director of Air India.
We have been flying to new destinations and in the summer of this year, we plan from Delhi to add following more flights-Delhi-Dhaka-Delhi, Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham-Toronto. In addition to all this, we will also be flying from Dhaka to Kolkata and we will be linking Kolkata to London in the summer of 2005, said V Thulasidas.
To maintain good standards Air-India is planning aggressive growth in its fleet and upgrade of the existing aircraft. It has invested Rs 4 billion for revamping the interiors of Air-India aircraft, which includes luxurious seats for all classes, more luggage space, and personal entertainment sets.
To meet the growing competition and the increase in a number of customers flying internationally, Air-India has increased its flights substantially to major destinations. It has plans to boost up operations in the US by increasing the frequency of existing flights and connecting new destinations over the next few months. By March 2006, it plans to launch 127 flights a week, which will include providing a direct connection from the four metros to the south-east destinations and between Mumbai and Delhi to the Gulf.
An estimated two million passengers travel between India and the United States annually. No US airline currently operates a non-stop service to India. Delhi-LA flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday on 296-seater Boeing 777s.