An Air India Boeing 777-200 LR, similar to the aircraft that will fly nonstop from SFO-DEL starting Dec. 2. (Rick Schlamp | Wikimedia Commons)
Air India announced the launch of non-stop service from San Francisco to Delhi starting Dec. 2. The flights will offer the fastest flying time to India from the west coast – a full 3.5 hours faster than any other airline.
Starting Dec. 2, Air India will launch non-stop service between San Francisco and Delhi, India’s capital. The flights will operate three times a week – Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday – with Boeing 777-200LRs. Flying time for the new San Francisco-Delhi flights will be 16 hours and 5 minutes – a full 3½ hours faster than any other airline.
For passengers traveling beyond Delhi, Air India offers fast connecting service to over 50 major cities across India. The non-stop flights depart San Francisco at 10:00 a.m., and arrive in Delhi at 3:35 p.m. the next day. Departures from Delhi are at 2:45 a.m., and the arrival time in San Francisco is 6:00 a.m. the same day.
Like Air India’s non-stop service from New York, Newark, and Chicago, the San Francisco-Delhi flights will feature First, Executive, and Economy Class and a choice of Continental or Indian cuisine served in the gracious style that is distinctly Indian.
“We are looking forward to serving the sizeable Indo-American communities on the west coast, as well as the growing leisure and business travel markets. These markets give Air India a very solid basis for starting service from San Francisco, said Vandana Sharma, Air India’s Regional Manager, Americas. She added, “With our state-of-the-art Delhi hub and seamless connecting service to all of India’s major cities, including its businesses and tourism centers, Air India is well positioned to serve all of those markets.”
At a press conference to announce the SF-Delhi flight, Air India’s Prakash Srivastava talked about the hospitality promise of Air India, pointing that if one can trust their parents’ comfort to Air India, then why can’t they do it for themselves. He talked about all the benefits and technicalities of the SFO-DEL flight and also invited the expatriate community to join the Air India frequent flier program, offering an incentive of 5,000 miles for those who are early adapters.
Director of Finance, Venkat talked about the modernization of the Air India fleet, the new aircraft purchases and made a solid pitch, “from Golden Gate to India Gate, travel nonstop,” which was received well with the audience.
Vandana Sharma, Air India regional manager, Americas also invited the community to fly Air India.
The visiting officials from India were cheered and also had to face some tough comments and questions as the community commented, “It’s up to air India to retain the clients selling it for the first time is not an issue says a local travel agent.”
“Cabin crew plays a very important role. Can we put youth as cabin crew just like Singapore Airlines,” said Niraj Baxi.
“The only reason we don’t fly air India is because of cabin crew.” Resounding comments was to improve onboard service and value for the flight.
To all this, Prakash concluded, “This is a new Air India, the services are all nonstop. On most flights like those to Europe, we have a 70-30 ratio of travelers. Europeans are discerning travelers and they demand the best service. Clearly, we meet those demands to have such a healthy ratio.”
Air India also has great baggage allowance. Up to 25 kgs on domestic flights, or two-piece on U.S. flights right through their connecting Air India flight from Delhi to their final destination.
For details on Air India’s new San Francisco-Delhi service, special introductory fares, and reservations, contact your travel agent or call 1-800-223-7776. Visit www.airindia.com for more details.