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Air India Boosts Mumbai-San Francisco Companies By 33%

Air India has increased Mumbai-San Francisco flights for next summer even before the first flight has taken off.

Air India’s brand-new Mumbai to San Francisco nonstop service begins on December 15 – in two weeks. Even before the route’s first flight, it has expanded its summer schedule from 3 weekly to 4 weekly, suggesting forward bookings are strong. It’ll be one of 12 Air India routes to North America, joined by Mumbai-JFK, which starts soon and will be Air India’s third attempt at it

Mumbai-SFO flights are up already

In late September, Air India announced Mumbai-San Francisco, its third route to the California city and Star Alliance hub, joining Delhi and Bengaluru.


At 8,406 miles (13,529km), Mumbai-San Francisco runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays this winter using three-class, 238-seat B777-200LRs. These have eight first seats, 35 in business, and 195 in economy.

From the end of March, the start of the Northern Hemisphere summer season, it’ll operate on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, still using 777-200LRs. It is scheduled as follows, with all times local:

  • Mumbai-San Francisco: AI179, 14:30-18:00 same-day arrival (16h block time)
  • San Francisco-Mumbai: AI180, 22:00-03:40+2 (17h 10m)

Air India Boeing 777-200LR on the tarmac of Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai

Photo: Getty Images

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In 2019, Mumbai-San Francisco had 148,000 roundtrip passengers, according to booking data. It means that San Francisco had 203 passengers daily each way to/from Mumbai when split equally across the year. The California city was Mumbai’s largest werved market in the USA/Canada.

Booking data reveals that most passengers transited with Emirates (over Dubai), Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong), Air India itself (Delhi), Air China (Beijing), and Lufthansa (Frankfurt).

Mumbai-San Francisco passengers paid an average one-way fare (excluding taxes and any fuel surcharge) of $510. Compared to Air India’s existing Delhi-San Francisco, Mumbai is 9% farther in distance terms but had a 16% higher fare. However, for the coming Mumbai-JFK, San Francisco is 8% farther yet had a 6% lower fare.

Will Air India be able to capture enough demand from those willing to pay more to save a few hours by flying nonstop?

As of November 30, Air India has 12 India-US/Canada routes next summer, as summarized below. Notice Hyderabad-Chicago, a route that won’t operate this winter but is scheduled to return in the summer.

What do you make of it all? Let us know in the comments.

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