Count this under the hunger for growth category. Yesterday I wrote about Air India’s new flights launching to Spain effective December 1, 2016. There, I wrote about the other big steps Air India has been taking over the months. That is what a low oil price and access to the new long & thin route enabler the Boeing 787 Dreamliner can do. This year, they launched a flight from Ahmedabad to London & Newark, utilizing a long standing fifth freedom route on the London-Newark route. Before that, they launched a 3x flight from Delhi to Vienna. They still intend to start a flight to Washington DC from Delhi.
Last year, they launched a 3x flight to San Francisco, which is being operated by the Boeing 77L, which they have 3 of in their fleet. Air India had a larger fleet of 77Ls, but they sold 5 of them to Etihad because given the higher cost of fuel over the years, they were not able to use them effectively. However, with this route, they are seeing significant traction, and that has given them confidence to double down on the flight to 6 times a week. As per a friend who took this flight a couple of times, it is usually full in the back as well as in J class.
Here is the new schedule of the Air India flights between Delhi & San Francisco,
AI173 DEL0235 – 0600SFO 77L x2
AI174 SFO1030 – 1615+1DEL 77L x2
The airline is going to operate the 6 times a week schedule with effect from November 21, 2016. This is now updated in the Air India systems as well, so there should be a lot of new award inventory available as well for those who are planning redemptions via Star Alliance miles.
Have you flown Air India on this sector? Look forward to hearing your experiences.