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Jyotiraditya Scindia Inaugurates Mumbai-San Francisco Direct Flight of Air India

The non-stop flight will be operated thrice a week-on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: The 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 three times 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 p.m. (IST) on Thursday.

The return flight, AI 180, departed from San Francisco at 9 p.m. on Thursday. It is expected to arrive in Mumbai at 3.40 a.m. 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 on boosting the civil aviation sector and building 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 rate 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 new 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 and San Francisco! “By 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 the 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 cities like Mumbai and Pune to San Francisco, which will give a boost to the information and technology sector and eventually lead to industrial growth in Maharashtra.

This is the longest flight. Since 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 relationship with Air India. “Air India should take the 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 three times-weekly flight between Bengaluru and San Francisco on December 2.

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 airline.

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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  • Raju Vernekar
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    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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