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Air India Begins Mumbai-San Francisco Direct Flight

The flight operates three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with the newly-inducted Boeing 777-200LR aircraft

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Tata Group-owned Air India on Thursday announced the launch of its direct flight between Mumbai and San Francisco. The airliner is also planning to start services from Mumbai to New York, Frankfurt and Paris by early 2023.

The Mumbai-San Francisco flight was inaugurated by Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia virtually from Delhi, Air India said in a statement.

Air India said the flight will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with the newly-inducted Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. This will take the airline's India-US frequency to 40 non-stop flights per week, the company added.

After inaugurating the flight, Scindia said the country's civil aviation sector is on the cusp of transformation and India is the third largest civil aviation market in the world with a growth of 10.6 per cent CAGR in the last ten years. “Air India has played a significant role in the sector's transformation in the past and will continue to contribute to the growth of the industry. With Air India’s legacy, culture, and vision, the airline will take Indian civil aviation to newer height,” the Minister said.

At present, Air India operates non-stop flights from Mumbai to Newark, from Delhi to New York, Newark, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Chicago, and from Bengaluru to San Francisco.

Campbell Wilson, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air India, said the Mumbai-San Francisco service is a significant step forward in the journey of the new Air India. “As part of our five-year transformation plan, we look to enhance connectivity between India’s major cities and prime global destinations,” Campbell added.

Air India continues to develop Mumbai as an important hub for international as well as domestic traffic, the company said. “The launch of the Mumbai-San Francisco route will be followed by Mumbai-New York City (JFK), Mumbai-Frankfurt, and Mumbai-Paris by early 2023. Additional domestic flights originating from Mumbai will also be added," the company added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said the state is doing airport expansion work and plans to develop helipads in every talukas to increase air connectivity. “The government is focused to boost the civil aviation sector, and build many more airports, and helipads in other parts of Maharashtra. I appreciate Air India launching its service from Mumbai and eagerly await the launch of their other locations from the city,” Shinde added.

In January 2012, Tata took over the loss-making Air India. The company is looking to increase its market share to 30 per cent in domestic and international routes. Air India is also purchasing modern aircrafts from Boeing to expand its international fleet.