Air India is spreading its wings further in the United States with the launch of its first-ever non-stop service between Mumbai and San Francisco from December 15, 2022. This closely follows the launch of its three times a week flight between Bengaluru and San Francisco on December 2, 2022. This new flight is in line with Air India’s vision to enhance its global footprint and provide the highest levels of service and convenience to its customers.
Air India continues to develop Mumbai as an important hub for international as well as domestic traffic. The launch of the Mumbai-San Francisco route will be followed by Mumbai-New York City (JFK), Mumbai-Frankfurt, and Mumbai-Paris. Additional domestic flights originating from Mumbai will also be added.
The flight will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays with the newly-inducted Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. This will take Air India’s India-US frequency to 40 non-stop flights per week. Presently, 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. This will be the third Indian city after Delhi and Bengaluru to have a direct flight to San Francisco.
The first flight AI 179 from Mumbai to San Francisco left Mumbai on time at 1430 hrs to arrive in San Francisco at a convenient 1700 hrs (local time) on the same day. The return flight AI 180 will depart from San Francisco at 2100 hrs (local time) to arrive in Mumbai at 0340 hrs+2 days.
The Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde graced the virtual inauguration ceremony of the flight. They flagged it off along with Mr. Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Civil Aviation, and Mr. Vinod Hejmadi, Chief of Finance, Air India.
The flight witnessed a grand launch with the auspicious lamp-lighting ceremony followed by cake cutting, ribbon cutting, and handing over the boarding pass to the first passenger to have checked in, at the Boarding Gate of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai by Mr. Campbell Wilson, CEO & MD, Air India; in presence of senior officials of Air India, Mumbai Airport, other organizations and passengers. The two senior-most citizens on the flight were also present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Speaking on the new flight launch, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said, “Today is a historic day for Maharashtra, India, and Air India. 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% 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 heights.”
Speaking at the occasion, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Eknath Shinde said, “Today is a great moment for the people of Maharashtra, as Air India bridges the distance between Maharashtra and San Francisco. 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.”
Addressing the gathering, Wilson said, “As part of our five-year transformation plan, Vihaan.AI, we plan to significantly enhance connectivity between India’s major cities and prime global destinations. The non-stop flight between India’s financial capital and Silicon Valley is a step towards achieving enhanced customer experience. With the launch of this route, we will have a weekly availability of 40 non-stop flights that will bolster India’s connectivity with the USA.”
The passengers on the inaugural flight from Mumbai to San Francisco were treated to a specially curated goodie bag by Air India.