India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given the green light to Indian carriers to begin transpacific flights provided they meet all regulatory and operational requirements.
Air India has hailed the move which, it says, will help improve the flight times on its Delhi-San Francisco route.
Quoting members of the airline’s pilots corps, India’s Deccan Chronicle said transiting the Pacific, while further than flying over the Arctic as it presently does, will actually result in a shorter flight, given the presence of strong jet stream tailwinds.
“Reducing the flight time to SFO from an hour in the summer to three hours in the winter (due to high tailwinds) will mean huge fuel savings. So it will be a win-win for flowers and the airline as passengers will reach San Francisco faster while the airline will burn less fuel,” a senior pilot told the paper.
Air India currently operates the Delhi-San Francisco route 3 times weekly using its B777-200LRs.