Air India starts Delhi-Chicago daily flight

March 29th, 2009 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) National carrier Air India Sunday launched its daily Delhi-Chicago flight via Frankfurt, the airline’s official said.
The flight took off around 1.50 a.m. Sunday, the airline spokesperson Chandra Kumar said.

“We had 274 passengers on board, of which 24 were for the business class. The response is quite encouraging. We had about 80 percent occupancy for the inaugural flight,” Kumar said.

Air India has deployed a state-of-the-art 342 seater B777-300ER aircraft configured in three classes for the its Delhi-Chicago sector.

The launch of the flight follows the airline’s decision to make Frankfurt the hub for operations to Europe and the US, an initiative towards strengthening its global network and restructuring its operations to these continents.

According to Lalit Kapur, Air India’s general manager (sales and marketing), the Delhi-Chicago flight will actually originate from Hyderabad, while passengers from Kolkata and Amritsar will be able to check-in at airports in their cities to avoid the hassle of doing so at Delhi’s international airport.

Air India already operates daily flights from Hyderabad to New York (Newark Liberty International Airport) via Mumbai and Frankfurt, to the John F. Kennedy International Airport, also at New York, and to London via Mumbai. It also operates daily flights to Frankfurt via Delhi and Mumbai.

The carrier is now planning to launch a non-stop Delhi-San Franscisco flight later this year after inducting three new Boeing 777LR aircraft between June and August.

Currently, Air India has over 150 aircraft, including 45 inducted since October 2007, and expects to induct 30 more by March 2010. The airline had ordered 111 Boeing and Airbus aircraft in 2005.

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