New Delhi, July 7: State-owned Air India on Thursday launched its first flight to Washington DC from New Delhi, thereby adding its fifth destination in the US.
Air India has deployed its 238-seater Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft to cater to the new direct service to the US. The plane offers eight seats in first class, 35 in business and 195 in economy class.
The launch took place at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the presence of Charge de Affairs of US Embassy Marykay Loss Carlson, Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani, commercial director of Air India Pankaj Shrivastava, among other airline officials.
Indian ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna, Lohani and Srivastava are also flying to Washington.
The occupancy on flights to Washington is at 90 per cent for the month of July, according to the airline spokesperson.
The airline will operate a bigger 321-seater Boeing 777- 300ER aircraft between July 9 and 17, he said.
Washington is the the fifth destination for Air India. The service to the US capital will be offered three times a week.
Apart from Washington, Air India flies to four US airports - New York, Newark, Chicago and San Francisco.
There are daily flights to Newark, New York and Chicago. However, its Delhi-San Francisco flight is operated six times a week.
The national carrier also plans to fly to other destinations in the US, such as Los Angeles and Houston among others.
Air India's operations to the US account for 20 per cent of the total revenue of the national carrier. In the last fiscal, the state-owned carrier mopped up an estimated Rs 3,200 crore revenue, which is an increase of 17 per cent over FY 2014-2015, from its US operations alone.