With the commencement of its non-stop flight to San Francisco from here today, Air India became the first domestic airline to provide a direct air connection to the West Coast from India.
The Air India flight AI 173, a B777-200LR aircraft, took off from Indira Gandhi International Airport with 230 passengers at 0235 hours today.
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his September visit to the Silicon Valley had made an announcement in this regard.
A special cake was cut to celebrate the launch of the maiden flight and passengers were presented with a rose bud each at the time of check-in, an official release said.
The national carrier had also hosted a contest on micro-blogging website Twitter prior to the launch of its new flight to the US.
Meanwhile, San Francisco became the fourth airport in the US to which Air India has started its services to, besides its daily non-stop flights to Chicago and New York (from New Delhi) and Newark (from Mumbai).
The flight offers a 3-cabin configuration, with 8 seats in First Class, 35 seats in Business Class and 195 seats in Economy Class.
Starting journey from Bengaluru, the flight will travel non-stop from Delhi to San Francisco and passengers travelling to San Francisco will undergo customs and immigration formalities at Bengaluru airport for their onward journey, the airline said.
Air India had earlier said it would offer seamless travel to its customers flying to San Francisco from Bengaluru via its Delhi flight despite change in the aircraft as passengers would be allowed to complete all customs and immigration formalities at the originating airport itself for their onward journey.
Apart from Bengaluru, passengers will also be able to enjoy seamless connections to the flight through Delhi from six other cities –Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Pune, it said.