New Delhi to San Francisco: Air India launches direct flight to Silicon Valley

San Francisco: Air India’s first non-stop flight from New Delhi to San Francisco has landed here amid rousing welcome, becoming the first ever Indian airline to provide a direct air connection to the West Coast in the United States.

The Air India flight AI 173, a B777-200LR aircraft, with 230 passengers on board landed here at 5:40 AM yesterday with airport traffic control tower lit in Indian tricolor to welcome the flight to the city.

The passengers applauded when the aircraft touched the ground here.

A number of officials from the US and India, including Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, attended a formal ribbon cutting ceremony to mark beginning of the services.

“It is a remarkable day and today is a great day for Air India” Ashok told the gathering at the airport.
The city Mayor’s office declared this day as ‘Air India Day’, a symbolic gesture to celebrate the arrival of the first direct flight from India here.

With this non-stop flight to San Francisco from Delhi, Air India became the first domestic airline to provide a direct air connection to the West Coast.

Air India has started three flights per week — on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The flight offers a 3-cabin configuration, with 8 seats in First Class, 35 seats in Business Class and 195 seats in Economy Class.

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Silicon Valley in September had announced to connect the Silicon Valley with India through a direct flight.

"Starting a direct flight within two months was a daunting task but we made it possible with the cooperation from US official,” an Air India official said.

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