WASHINGTON: San Francisco International Airport has welcomed the decision of India's national flag carrier Air India to fly the first-ever non-stop flights between San Francisco and Bengaluru to cater to the growing demand of passengers.
Beginning January 9, Air India will operate two non-stop flights per week to Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, departing on Saturday and Tuesday. The return flight from Bangalore arrives on Mondays and Thursdays, the airport said in a statement.
Air India will operate the flights using state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200LR long-range aircraft equipped with 238 seats, comprising 8 First Class, 35 Business Class, and 195 Economy Class seats. "We are truly honored to be the first airport in the United States to offer non-stop flights to Bangalore," said Airport Director Ivar C Satero.
"This service links two great centers of technology and innovation and strengthens the cherished sister city relationship between San Francisco and Bangalore. We thank Air India for their strong commitment to San Francisco since 2015, and for this latest service," it said.
"To cater to the growing demand of passengers, Air India is spreading its wings further in the United States with the launch of its first-ever non-stop services between the two IT hubs, San Francisco and Bengaluru," said Air India Commercial Director Meenakshi Mallik.
"This will be a gateway providing connectivity to other points in South India. The non-stop flights will support Air India's mission of providing faster and convenient carriage of passengers to destinations in the hinterland," she said.
In 2009, the City of San Francisco established a sister city relationship with Bangalore. Known as "the Silicon Valley of India", Bangalore accounts for more than 35 per cent of India's software exports.
Both the San Francisco-based French American International School, in partnership with the Indus International School of Bangalore, have begun a cooperative education effort through both student and faculty exchange programs, as well as many other joint initiatives, said San Francisco International Airport.
Air India is the national flag carrier of India, serving 57 domestic destinations within India and 45 international destinations in 31 countries across five continents. The airline is a member of Star Alliance, the world's largest global airline alliance, comprising 26 international airlines serving 195 countries and 1,290 airports around the world.
Air India launched the first non-stop flights from India to the US West Coast in December 2015, making SFO the fourth US city served by Air India, joining Chicago O'Hare, New York (JFK) and Newark.