Air India To Expand US Service in Wake of Electronics Ban

May 9, 2017

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One airline has become a surprising beneficiary of the large carry-on electronics ban: Air India. Shortly after the ban went into place, Air India reported that its bookings to the US had doubled. Now, Air India seems to be scrambling to meet the increased demand.

The airline recently announced a new 3x weekly service between Washington DC (IAD) and Delhi (DEL) starting July 7. Now, we’re finding out about new service to the US via a public Facebook post by Air India’s Chairman. In the post, he unveils new service to Los Angeles (LAX) starting September 1 and to Dallas (DFW) beginning later this year:

To washigton from 7th july, stockkholm from 15th august and los angeles from 1st september to be followed by tel aviv,…

Posted by Ashwani Lohani on Monday, May 8, 2017

These new routes join the carrier’s existing ones to the US:

  • Daily service between New York (JFK) and Delhi (DEL)
  • Daily service between Newark (EWR) and Mumbai (BOM)
  • Daily service between Chicago (ORD) and Delhi (DEL)
  • 6x weekly service between San Francisco (SFO) and Delhi (DEL)
  • 3x weekly service between Newark (EWR) and London (LHR)

If you’re eager to get on these flights, keep in mind that acting up could be especially costly now that the airline is fining passengers a minimum of 500,000 rupees (~$7,750) for delaying flights. And, taking “photography while embarking/disembarking from the aircrafts” is now against the rules.

In other cringe-worthy news, Air India has had a pilot suspended for falsely claiming to be out of fuel to get priority landing, it’s suspended 57 crew members for being overweight and seems to have a persistent rat problem.

Another shot of the side seats.
The Air India 787 business class isn’t winning any awards, but provides a comfortable lie-flat option.

With that said, TPG’s Eric Rosen reported on a pleasant experience on-board Air India’s 787 business class. And I personally had a great experience in economy on Air India’s flight from London (LHR) to Newark (EWR), which is also served by the 787 Dreamliner.

While this EWR-LHR route is the currently the only Dreamliner route to the US, it seems the US might see more Dreamliner routes soon. The carrier currently has 23 Boeing 787-8s — with four more scheduled to be delivered by October — and is now leasing seven 787-9 aircraft. Much of this aircraft growth is reportedly to serve the North American market. In addition to this announced expansion to Los Angeles (LAX) and Dallas (DFW), Air India is reportedly looking to add Houston, Vancouver and Toronto.

H/T: Live from a Lounge

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