Air India is set to become the first Indian airline to fly around the world when it cruises over the pacific route with the launch of its direct services to San Francisco from here on October 16.
Flying over Pacific route would help the national carrier reduce travel time by up to one-and-half hours while significantly saving on fuel costs as the aircraft would receive tail winds in both directions of the journey, a senior DGCA official said today.
Weather conditions and speed of winds while flying over the Pacific region route helps the aircraft reach faster than flying over Atlantic route.
The official said Air India would start the direct flight from New Delhi to San Francisco from October 16 and November onwards it would double the frequency these flights to six per week.
“The aircraft will receive tail winds (which will help push the flight faster to its destination) in both directions. This will help the aircraft reach San Francisco and Delhi in the return direction 90 minutes earlier than what it does at present,” the official said.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had approved the flight route in August.
Charting the new route, Air India planes would fly eastwards to reach San Francisco by crossing the vast Pacific Ocean. Even though the route would be almost 1,400 km longer compared to the current trajectory where the flight flies over the Atlantic, there would be a significant saving on fuel and journey time due to powerful tail winds.