Air India to fly to two more U.S. destinations

Air India to fly to two more U.S. destinations

Market for seats to U.S. can grow to 12 lakh by next year

Air India will connect with two more destinations in the U.S. by next year, including a service on the Delhi-Washington route, a top official said.

“We want to connect the capital cities of the two largest democracies of the world; we wanted to launch a flight on the Delhi-Washington route this year itself but due to some shortage of flights we deferred it,” said Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Air India. “It will happen…if not now then maybe by April end next year.”

Big market
“We are providing 8.5 lakh seats for flying to the U.S. right now with 82-83 per cent load factors. This market can grow to 12 lakh by next year,” Mr. Lohani said at an event organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

Air India will also introduce an Ahmedabad-Newark flight, the CMD said. Beginning August 15 this year, the national carrier will fly thrice a week on the Ahmedabad-London-Newark route. The national carrier will also look into the demand for flying to Los Angeles, he said. The airline chief said he would also consider providing a flight connection to the U.S. from Hyderabad.

Last December, Air India started a non-stop thrice-a-week flight between New Delhi and San Francisco. Air India also operates non-stop flights to Chicago and New York from Delhi and to Newark from Mumbai.

“The U.S. is very encouraged by improving air connectivity, and we hope the recently announced National Civil Aviation Policy will make air travel in India even more affordable and accessible,” U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma said.

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