When Is Air India’s New LAX Flight Launching?

In early May I wrote about how Air India’s CEO announced that the airline would be starting a bunch of new routes in 2017, including flights to Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Dallas, and Nairobi, in addition to those that had previously been announced.

At the time Air India’s CEO announced that the airline would start flying between Delhi and Los Angeles as of September 1, 2017. However, a schedule hadn’t yet been published, and Air India’s CEO tends to be a bit optimistic, to put it mildly. With September 1 less than three weeks away, what’s the status of the route?

Well, the Economic Times reports that Air India is planning on launching flights between Delhi and Los Angeles using a Boeing 777-300ER between late October and early November. Again, I’d still assume this is very much subject to change, though at a minimum it seems safe to assume that Air India is serious about the route. Per the story:

“Almost all regulatory approvals for the proposed air services to Los Angeles from New Delhi are in place. The new flight is a part of the winter schedule and it may take off any time between late October and early November,” the official said.

This will be Air India’s longest route at 8,000+ miles, and will be slightly longer than their Delhi to San Francisco flight, which has apparently been performing well for the airline.

That’s why it’s interesting that this flight will be operated by the 777-300ER rather than 777-200LR, given the range difference. At first I wondered whether this would even be within the range of the 777-300ER, though Saudia operates that plane between Jeddah and Los Angeles, and that route is just over 300 miles longer. However, I also believe that Air India’s version of the 777-300ER might be heavier, given that it has an additional 50+ seats compared to Saudia.

Air India’s 777-300ERs feature four first class seats, 35 business class seats, and 303 economy seats.

I flew Air India’s 777-200LR first class between Delhi and San Francisco shortly after the route launched, so I’d be curious to fly them to LAX as well, on the 777-300ER.

Do you think Air India will actually launch their LAX flight this year?

(Tip of the hat to Live from a Lounge)

Comments

  1. “Do you think Air India will actually launch their LAX flight this year?”

    of course they will launch. AI is actually proud of being backed by the government, and it’s not that often their announcements were all empty talk the way QR was with DOH-LAS.

  2. They announced flights TO Delhi?!!!!!

    “…including flights to Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Delhi, and Nairobi…”

    Interesting.

  3. That plane must be payload restricted; as I understood it the 777-200LR was the only aircraft that could do SFO-DEL economically so not sure how a 777-300ER will make LAX work.

  4. Air India has 3 B777-200LR aircrafts, currently two are used for SFO route and one for Washington DC. I think they may change Washington route to B777-300ER and use the remaining B777-200LR on Los Angeles route.

  5. I’m amazed there aren’t more direct flights from the US to BOM – all I can think of are UA and AI, both from NYC.

  6. @KK: HYD and BLR are much further away than DEL is, and almost certainly beyond the range of the aircraft. Remember, the plane is flying to/from India along almost a north-south line.

  7. [Continued] Using great circle distances, DEL-LAX is only 300 miles longer than DEL-SFO (4%). But BLR-SFO is 1000 miles longer than DEL-SFO (13%).

    Of course actual flight distance will be longer in all cases, but the differences are still meaningful.

  8. Air India is unencumbered by economics that plague other normal airlines. It has run up a debt of Ten Billion dollars and bleeds money. It is however a rich source of plunder for the many bureaucrats, politicians and staff involved in its supply chain and operations and the real question is whether the current story line of divestment is yet another mirage foisted on its people where 62% live on less than a dollar a day.

  9. The airline has a load of debt because it bought planes from Boeings at full list price instead of negotiating. This was a way of paying off the Clinton regime for lifting nuclear sanctions. Operationally it makes profits. The debt on its books needs to be absorbed by the Indian govt as it was created due to a payoff the Indian govt was making to the US govt.

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