Air India links Bengaluru and San Francisco with a non-stop service
Air India commenced its first-ever non-stop service between Bengaluru and San Francisco as the journey connected the world's two tech hubs – the original Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley of India. The first flight AI 176 from San Francisco to Bengaluru, which was started to operate on Saturdays and Tuesdays, left from San Francisco at 2030 hours (Local Time/LT) on January 9, 2021, to arrive at Bengaluru at 0345 hours (LT) on January 11, 2021.
The flight, which was operated by an all-women cockpit crew of four captains Zoya Aggarwal (P1), Papagari Thanmai(P1), Akansha Sonaware (P2) and Shivani Manhas (P2), took off on a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft VT ALG with a seating capacity of 238
seats including eight First Class, 35 Business Class, 195 Economy class configuration besides four cockpits and 12 cabin crew.
The direct distance between Bengaluru and San Francisco is 13,993 kilometers approximately and the cities are diametrically at opposite ends of the world with a time zone change of approximately 13.5 hours.
It was one of the longest commercial flights in the world to be operated by Air India or any other airline in India as the total flight time on this route took more than 17 hours depending on the wind speed on January 9. It provided an around-the-world flight. Based on the wind speed and other logistical parameters, the polar route was chosen as the flight path, which resulted in savings on flying time, fuel consumption and curbing carbon footprint.
Passengers also benefited from the reduced flight duration. With less fuel consumption, the environment had less carbon impact that made the service economically viable option for the passengers and Air India alike.
With Air India being a 'Star Alliance' member, passengers enjoyed seamless connectivity to other destinations in the hinterland, facilitating faster and smoother accessibility without paying any extra fare. It was the first-ever non-stop route between the West Coast of the USA and South India, which also gave access to cities in neighboring states via short domestic flights.
Air India also plans to start its first-ever non-stop service between Hyderabad and Chicago on January 15, 2021.