Air India will begin service to Los Angeles and Dallas later this year, in addition to previously announced service to Washington DC.
In a Facebook post, Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani outlined several new routes.
- Washington Dulles (from 07 July)
- Stockholm Arlanda (from 15 August)
- Los Angeles (from 01 September)
Though no specific service dates were announced, Lohani also pledged service to:
- Tel Aviv
Washington Dulles flights have already been loaded into the schedule and are available for booking. The thrice-weekly service will operate on the following schedule:
|Origin||Destination||Flight No.||Departure||Arrival||Days of Operation|
While the departure time from Washington Dulles is not ideal, the arrival time in Delhi is far better than a middle-of-the-night arrival.
Air India had previously hinted that it would begin service to Copenhagen rather than Stockholm, so the announcement of Stockholm took many by surprise.
Tel Aviv perhaps remains more an optimistic goal than likely reality. In order to reach Tel Aviv, India must overfly many territories either hostile to Israel or who do not recognize it as a nation state. Air India has been unable to secure permission to use airspace in the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan on flights to Israel.
Non-stop to Los Angeles?
I am old enough to remember the last time Air India served Los Angeles. 747-400s were used and the flight made a stop in Frankfurt. Citing high fuel costs, the flight was cancelled in 2008. No schedules for the new flights have been provided yet, but it will be interesting to see if the new LAX service is non-stop like the SFO-DEL service.
Air India is growing and I hope to fly on the Indian flag carrier this fall. As a reminder, Air India is only 9-across in economy class on the 777 (most carriers now squeeze in 10 across). Further, seat pitch is very generous. Business class also features lie-flat beds. Hopefully this announcement from the Chairman indeed is an accurate signal of what is to come.
(H/T Live from a Lounge / top image: AIR INDIA)