Even before the pandemic, Air India had been under pressure from debt as the government struggled to find buyers, for divesting the the national carrier. Amidst the uncertainty about its survival in 2019, Air India had temporarily suspended flights on the Mumbai-New York route, on which it had started non-stop flights from 2007. Now India's oldest airline is back in the skies propelled by its original parent firm Tata, and will relaunch Mumbai to JFK flights from February 14th, 2023.
The renewed service will be supported by the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, recently welcomed by Air India into its fleet. The airline is focussing on the financial capital as a hub for international connectivity in India, second only to the national capital Delhi. These non-stop Air India flights will increase frequency between Mumbai and New York to 47 per week.
Seats for the flight will be lesser than the 342 seater lower-premium 777-300ER, as the premium 777-200LR can carry 238 passengers at a time. Around 1.47 lakh people flew on the Mumbai-JFK route in 2019, and paid the highest fare in the India-US market, at an average of $540 per passenger.
As part of its comeback, Air India is eyeing a 30 per cent market share in domestic skies by 2028, and a significant international presence as well.
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