Air India tries out route over Russia for Delhi-San Francisco flights

Air India will be operating its direct flights to San Francisco on different routes, with the latest one being over Russia and East Siberian sea, in efforts to save time as well as costs, an airline official said. The Russia route could reduce the flight duration over two hours, provided weather and other external conditions are favourable, the official noted.

According to the official, the duration of flight also depends on various external factors, including weather and tailwinds. Nearly two years after launching the Delhi-San Francisco service — one of the longest flights in the world — the national carrier operated a flight over Russia and East Siberian sea to reach the US West Coast.
Whether it is the new route or the earlier the one over the Pacific, the block hours for the flight is still estimated at 17 hours, the official noted.

“The flight duration would depend on availability of the route, weather and tail winds, among other factors. In case every thing is favourable, then we will prefer this Russia route, which will get us in 14 hours 15 minutes,” the official said. Block hours refer to the span of time from the switching on of the aircraft’s engines to their switching off.

Further, the official said the first flight to San Francisco over Russia was operated only today and details about how much fuel and time have been saved would be known later. Subsequently, the overall cost savings can be calculated. “Air India will be flexible in opting for the route while operating the flight,” he said.

As per the airline’s website, it offers convenient timing, flying to San Francisco over the Pacific and to Delhi over the Atlantic, thereby reducing travel time. The airline operates the Delhi-San Francisco flight nine times a week.

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