Mumbai: Flying to the US? Prepare for a 16-hour, non-stop plane ride if you are an Air India frequent flier.
Starting October 31, Air India is converting all its flights to destinations in the US – John F. Kennedy airport in New York, Newark’s Liberty International Airport, Chi-cago’s O’Hare airport — as well as Toronto into non-stop flights that will bypass Europe altogether.
Confirming the development, an Air India spokesperson said: “Flights from the gateway points in India to the US will become non-stop. However, once these flights touch down in India they will connect to multiple destinations.”
Industry insiders said Air India’s decision to operate only non-stop flights to the US followed the move to shut down its Frankfurt hub in an effort to slash costs.
By shutting down the Frankfurt hub, the loss-laden state-owned carrier will save roughly Rs. 200 crore a year in costs.
It is expected that Air India will fly its 238-seater Boeing 777-200 LRs and its 342-seater Boeing 777-300 ERs to the United States. LR stands for long range and ER for extended range.