Air India's new non-stop Mumbai-San Francisco service begins in early December - in just two months. That means he will have 11 routes in North America this winter, his highest number yet. It follows Air India's revelation that it will lease 30 aircraft, including five B777-200LRs, while returning existing aircraft to service. Under a change plan, a new owner and a new CEO, Air India is in an expansion mode.
What's going on?
Air India's recently announced Mumbai-San Francisco route will be its third route to the city. It will join Bengaluru - which will resume in December, not October - and long-running Delhi. It will have 16 weekly flights to San Francisco, the highest. I am watching Mumbai-San Francisco below.
Star Alliance airlines will have 11 routes to North America this winter: nine to the United States and two to Canada. That's nearly double the six it had before winter 2019 and by ten in winter 2020 and winter 2021. According to OAG, it has 351,000 non-stop seats in North America 'this winter, as shown below. First live Bombay-San Francisco.
The biggest change is the new Mumbai-San Francisco. Air India's website says it will start on December 15 - not the second as many places have said. At 8,406 kilometers (13,529 miles), it will run three times a week using three-class, B777-200LR 238 seats. These have eight first-class seats, 35 in business and 195 in economy class.
It is organized as follows, with all local times:
Mumbai to San Francisco: AI179, 2:30-5:00 pm (stop time 4:00 pm)
San Francisco to Mumbai: AI180, 9pm-3:40am+2 (5pm 10m)
Booking data shows that in 2019 the market had 148,000 passengers with an average one-way fare (excluding taxes and any fuel charges) of $510. It is Mumbai's largest market in North America. This means that, when the year is properly divided, San Francisco has 203 passengers per day each way from Mumbai. That's 11 North American routes
As Delhi is the main airport of India, seven of them depart from the city. The Mumbai-San Francisco connection means that the airport in California, also important in terms of Star Alliance, has more connections than any other airport in North America. Note that Bangalore-San Francisco will resume on December 2 - not December 15, as widely reported. And although it is not a book, the OAG shows that it is organized five times a week from December. That's not to say it will - maybe it won't - but don't book it.
Routing Weekly flights this winter
Delhi to San Francisco
Delhi to Chicago
Delhi to New York JFK
Delhi to Toronto
Delhi to Vancouver
Bengaluru to San Francisco (resumes December 2nd)
Delhi to Newark
Delhi to Washington Dulles
Mumbai to Newark
Mumbai to San Francisco (begins December 15th)
Hyderabad to Chicago
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