If various reports are to be believed, Air India is eyeing expansion of its service network in the United States. The airline would operate nonstop flights to India from Boston, Los Angeles and other US cities in the next few months, as part of its 5-year development plan named Vihaan.AI. Currently, Washington DC, New York JFK, Newark EWR, Chicago ORD, and San Francisco are the only destinations of Air India’s nonstop flights to USA from India.
“The reports of Air India planning to add Los Angeles and Boston to its US-India nonstop service corridor is no surprise to us. In our exclusive news article about the airline’s $70bn aircraft deal, we had hinted at Air India’s potential plans for penetrating the US market further. However, we had little idea that Boston and LAX would steal the show while Atlanta, Seattle, Houston and Dallas have been lobbying with Indian authorities for nonstop flights for years,” said Sourav Agarwal, the Editor of Travel Beats.
The launch of Boston and Los Angeles to India nonstop flights is being highly anticipated in early 2024, coinciding with the induction of six A350-900 aircraft into Air India’s long-haul fleet. This is just a fraction of the airline’s order of 40 A350s, including 34 A350-1000 aircraft. In his most recent interviews, CEO Campbell Wilson said that the ageing fleet with outdated cabins had been a deterrent to the Tata airline’s growth and expansion in international markets.
Six A350-900s will add a total of 144 premium economy seats to Air India flights for international service. Indians of Southern California and New England would get a taste of Air India’s Premium Economy service on board if A350-900s are deployed for the upcoming new routes between USA and India. Each Airbus 350-900 will come with 24 Premium Economy, 28 Business and 264 Economy seats. A350-900s have business class seats with direct aisle access and doors for passengers’ privacy. With 31-inch seat pitch, economy seats will be a breather for travelers.
“Our customers who have taken Air India’s premium economy flights from SFO and JFK to Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru are all praise of the seats, meals and other inflight service. We are thrilled to share with you the below feedback from the traveler named Diwakar,” said the chief travel advisor of Indian Eagle, a most trusted air-ticketing partner of Indian Diaspora in America,
“We recently traveled by Air India from Mumbai to San Francisco in Premium Economy class. The entire journey was most comfortable. It was a great surprise by Air India for travelers preferring nonstop travel. In the last 20 years, we have traveled to USA many times. It was our 18th trip and the BEST travel experience. Kudos to AIR INDIA!”
Why are Boston and Los Angeles being targeted as highly potential destinations for new nonstop Air India flights to USA? The primary reason being the growing Indian immigrant community in Southern California and New England. In Southern California, Greater Los Angeles alone houses an inflated Indian-origin populace of more than 200,000. New England comprising Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont in the northeast US, is home to a growing base of over 1 lakh Indians.
Boston is centrally located in New England, which makes Boston Logan Airport seamlessly accessible from Albany, Hartford, Milford, New Haven, Stamford, Cambridge, Providence, Springfield, Greenwich and other cities. Los Angeles International Airport is much nearer than SFO to Arizona and Southern Nevada by road. If Air India’s nonstop flight service to LAX becomes a reality, it will be a double celebration for Indians in Southern California. They are most likely to get an Indian Consulate in Los Angeles as an online petition is garnering their support.
Currently, IndianEagle.com has best deals for LAX and Boston to India flights by Emirates, Qatar Airways, Lufthansa, Turkish Airways, SWISS Airlines and others. Once Air India’s plans for nonstop travel from Boston and Los Angeles to India take shape, it will trigger a fare war with other airlines on these routes.