Home » Scindia Inaugurates Mumbai-San Francisco Direct flight of Air India

Scindia Inaugurates Mumbai-San Francisco Direct flight of Air India

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read

By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai: Dec 16:

Union minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia virtually flagged off the first direct flight from Mumbai to San Francisco during the launch of Air India’s direct flight services, in New Delhi on Thursday. 
The non-stop flight will be operated thrice a week-on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, via a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. Air India flight AI 179 to San Francisco took off from Mumbai at 2.30 pm (IST) on Thursday. The return flight, AI 180, departed from San Francisco at 9 pm on Thursday. It is expected to arrive in Mumbai at 3.40 am on Saturday.
“Today is a historic day for Maharashtra, India, and Air India,” Scindia said at the event held virtually and also attended by Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde. The government is focused to boost the civil aviation sector, and build many more airports, and helipads in other parts of Maharashtra, he added.
“The civil aviation sector in India is on the cusp of transformation, and India is the third-largest civil aviation market in the world with a growth of 10.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the last 10 years. With Air India’s legacy, culture and vision, the airline will take Indian civil aviation to newer heights”, Scindia said.
Taking to Twitter, Scindia said: “After record domestic passenger traffic, we have hit yet another milestone with the launch of direct flights between Mumbai & San Francisco! Connecting the country’s financial capital with America’s tech hub, the new flight will open new doors of possibilities.”
The Mumbai-San Francisco service is a significant step forward in the journey of the new Air India, said airline’s chief executive officer and managing director Campbell Wilson. “It is a significant milestone in restoring a major Air India long haul hub in the city of Mumbai.”, he added.  Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal was also present at the inaugural event.
Shinde said that the Mumbai-San Francisco direct flight will connect the cities like Mumbai and Pune to San Francisco which will give boost to Information and Technology sector and will eventually lead to industrial growth in Maharashtra.
This is the longest flight. Since the San Francisco is a financial as well as cultural centre, these direct flights will also promote tourism. Over 1.50 lakh travellers travel to different destinations every day from the Mumbai International airport. Lakhs of people from Maharashtra reside in the US and they have an emotional relation with Air India. The Air India should take lead in connecting Maharashtra with other cities in the US and Europe with direct flights, Shinde added.
Shinde also referred to the ongoing G-20 Summit in Mumbai and said that it will help Maharashtra in branding and upgrading itself.  To ensure fast mobility, an attempt will be made to set up a helipad in every taluka of Maharashtra, he added.
After the Tata group took over the loss-making Air India in January this year, the airline has been working on expanding its services and fleet. The launch of the Mumbai-San Francisco flight comes shortly after the launch of Air India’s thrice weekly flight between Bengaluru and San Francisco on December 02. The addition of the Mumbai-San Francisco flight will take Air India’s flight frequency between India and the United States to 40 non-stop flights per week, according to a press note by the AI.
At present Air India operates non-stop flights commuting passengers from Delhi to New York, Newark, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Chicago; from Mumbai to Newark; and from Bengaluru to San Francisco.

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