Air India is launching a daily non-stop New York-Delhi service from February 8 with a state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200LR aircraft to reduce the travel time between the two cities to 14 hours.
The flight will depart from New York's JFK International Airport at 4:00 pm local time and arrive in Delhi at 4:30 pm the next afternoon. Returning flights will depart Delhi at 12:30 am and arrive at JFK at 5:45 am local time the same day.
The new flight will be the second non-stop service to India from JFK and Air India will increase the frequency to 28 flights a week from New York, the most of any carrier. On August 1, Air India introduced its first daily, non-stop service from JFK to Mumbai on a Boeing 777-200LR.
The aircraft is equipped with the latest in-flight features, including on-demand audio and video entertainment in each seat, the airline said.
Air India also announced that it has been invited to join the prestigious Star Alliance, the only Indian member to be part of the group. The move will offer Air India access to more than 16,000 daily flights operated by the 17 Star members around the world that include Lufthansa, United Airlines and Air Canada.
In return, Air India's large network of flights to and within India will benefit the other Star Alliance partners. The announcement caps a historic year for the international carrier, which merged with Indian Airlines in the summer, and has contracted for more than 100 additional aircraft to dramatically expand its fleet.
"India enjoys one of the fastest growing economies in the world, attracting visitors and major international investment in record numbers. We are increasing non-stop service to meet the rising demand for more convenient travel to India," said PS Rajagopal, Air India's regional manager for the US.
"We are also proud to be invited to join the Star Alliance Network, which will allow us to significantly enhance the quality of our service and diversity of destinations we can offer our customers," he added.
As part of its modernisation plan, Air India also launched this year an ambitious refurbishing programme of its fleet of 747-400 jetliners, and will soon boast one of the youngest fleets in the industry.
In addition to its service from JFK International Airport, it offers direct service to India from Newark (New Jersey), Toronto, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Air India has been in operation since 1932 and serves cities throughout India, North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia.