CHENNAI: Air India will operate six flights on the Delhi-San Francisco route from November 21 as the flight over the Pacific Ocean seems to have become popular because tail wind cuts down travel time by two hours.
Now the airline flies thrice a week on the route, reports The Times of India.
Speaking at a programme organised to promote the direct service in southern cities, considered as the longest flight, Air India regional executive director Captain S Arulmani said, “The flight is popular because it saves around two hours flying over the Pacific though the distance is longer. The increased patronage was the reason for decision to make it six flights a week.”
The operations department had been considering flying to the west coast of the US over the Pacific because tail wind pushes the plane faster. The airspeed remains the same but the ground speed increases.
This helps the plane cover the distance in 15 hours and 55 minutes. The return flight is over the Atlantic which is the shortest route. Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific fly to the US over the Pacific.
However, Air India flight is popular among travellers in south India because it takes longer to fly via Singapore, which is a popular hub to travel to the west coast of the US.
A Singapore-San Francisco flight takes 14 hours 35 minutes, while the Chennai-Singapore leg needs four hours. An Air India official said, “Flying via Delhi is comfortable for Indian travellers because they need not be in transit in a foreign country.”