LONDON – India’s flag carrier and largest airline, Air India has resumed non-stop flights from Mumbai (BOM/VABB) to New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK/KJFK).
Services began on the 14th February 2023 and join the other two existing long haul flights to the US from Mumbai which are Newark Liberty and San Francisco.
Flight AI119 will run daily and is scheduled to leave Mumbai at 00:55am (local time) and arrive in New York at 06:55am (local time) covering a total flight block time of 16hrs 30mins.
VT-AEG, a Boeing 777-200LR had the honours of operating the first flight and completed the mammoth journey in 15hrs 40mins.
The aircraft of choice for the route as mentioned is Air India’s recently acquired Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. The carrier has 2 examples of this type, having acquired them in November of last year.
These aircraft are outfitted in a 3 class configuration with 8 seats in first class, 35 in business class and 195 in economy class.
Interestingly, this route did operate pre-Covid, having last flown in 2019, so the return of the route demonstrates that Air India is still committed to returning to its re-Covid route levels coming out of the pandemic.
In addition, it shows the Star Alliance member is establishing themselves in a position, that allows Mumbai to develop as a secondary hub in their network behind New Delhi being their centre of operations.
Building on from that, this addition to the network marks the carriers 8th US route and takes the total number of US non-stop flights per week to 47.
“A key element of Air India’s Vihaan.AI transformation is considerably improving connectivity between India’s major cities and major global destinations.”
“Adding this new service from Mumbai to New York JFK, following December’s launch of non-stop flights from Mumbai to San Francisco, affirms our commitment to develop a major international hub in India’s commercial capital.”
“With the opening of this route, Air India will offer 47 non-stop flights available each week between India and the United States, with a further 14 serving Canada each week”, remarked Mr. Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD, Air India.
What is Vihaan.AI?
In Wilson’s comment on the launch of the route to JFK, he mentions it as being a key element of Air India’s Vihaan.AI transformation – but what exactly is that?
Vihaan.AI is a medium road map that outlines Air India’s transformational plans over the next 5 years with specific milestones they intend on hitting.
The program focuses mostly on dramatically growing its fleet and network, which we have recently seen with the airlines historical order for 540 new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.
On top of this, it also focuses on revamping their customer proposition, improving reliability and on-time performance.
The airline will also be taking a massive leap in its leadership position through technology, sustainability and innovation while investing in the best industry talent.
Overall, Vihaan.AI is effectively aimed at allowing Air India to focus themselves on a path towards sustained growth, profitability and market leadership.