Air India to launch Delhi-Chicago flight Sunday

March 27th, 2009 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) National carrier Air India will introduce a daily Delhi-Chicago flight via Frankfurt from March 29, the airline said Friday.
The launch of the flight follows the airline’s decision to make Frankfurt the hub for operations to Europe and the US, its initiative towards strengthening its global network and restructuring its operations to these continents.

Lalit Kapur, Air India’s general manager (sales and marketing), said 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.

“Passengers from Kolkata and Amritsar can check-in with their luggage and get their immigration check done there. They can then board in Air India domestic flight to Delhi airport and board the Delhi-Chicago flight directly without going through any hassles. These passengers will not pay any extra fare for reaching Delhi and will pay fares as applicable from Delhi,” he said.

Kapur said the Delhi-Chicago sector would be operated with state-of-the-art 342 seater B777-300ER aircraft, configured in three classes.

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 airline has also offered promotional fares for various destinations to Europe and US, which are as low as Rs.6,900 (plus Rs.18,000 as taxes) for a return economy class ticket to London.

“Our fares are 30 to 50 percent lower than other foreign carriers flying to Europe and US,” said Sandeep Roy Choudhary, Air India’s district sales manager.

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.

Jet Airways, which earlier operated on this route, withdrew the service due to low passenger loads.

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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