New Delhi, Feb 8: Air India today launched its nonstop flight between Delhi and New York, the first by any Indian air carrier.
The flight-- AI-101-- bewteen Indira Gandhi International Airport and JFK Airport will cut down travel time between the two cities by at least three hours. While the onward journey will take 16 hours, it will be another two hours more on the return. The Air India had deployed its state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200 LR (Longer Range), a 238 seater aircraft for the nonstop fight.
This is Air India's second non-stop flight to the US, the first being between Mumbai and New York-- launched on August 1, 2007. Air India now plans to launch its third nonstop flight, most probably between Bangalore and San Fransisco, a senior A I official said.
The Delhi-New York flight would have the most convenient timing, leaving Delhi at 0030 hrs and arriving JFK at 0545 hrs. It will depart JFK at 1600 hrs and arrive Delhi at 1630 hrs the next day.
''The timings will help passengers arriving in Delhi to get connecting flights to major cities the same evening,'' he said.
The Delhi-New York flight will have a convenio service-- meals at a time preferred by a passenger. It will also offer the widest seats for more legroom. The First Class will have eight seats that can be transformed into flat beds. Passengers in the Economy Class will also be provided enhanced service and comfort levels. Each ergonomically-designed seat will have a therapeutic footrest installed in front for added comfort during long haul travel.
Passengers will have a choice to select the entertainment programmes from 250 hours of video and 150 hours of audio programming. First Class passengers will be able to view video programmes on a 23 inch monitor-- the largest monitor in any class-- Executive Class on a 15 inch monitor and the Economy Class on a 10.4 inch monitor.
''One can start with Madhubala, go up to Madhuri and end up with anything you want,'' the official said Air India's Maharaja will roll out a red carpet for those travelling on the new flight.
The introductory fare, offered by the Airlines will be Rs 30,700 plus taxes in the Economy Class, Rs 1.59 lakh plus taxes in the Executive Class and Rs 3.57 lakh plus taxes in the First Class.
The passengers travelling in premium classes-- First and Executive-- will get a free limousine pick up and drop services to and from IGIA and JFK Airport.
They will also receive a gift voucher of 75 dollars and 50 dollars, respectively for each sector of travel for onboard duty free shopping.
Members of 'Flying Returns', Air India's frequent flyer programme, will also receive double mileage points. This introductory offer will be valid till April 30.
Those who purchase tickets in India for travel by the nonstop flight from Delhi or Mumbai in the Economy Class on full published IATA fares can avail of Air India's competiton free scheme, valid till March 31.