Air India sets up global aviation hub at Frankfurt
In a major initiative towards strengthening its global network, Air India will make its first-ever international hub operational at Frankfurt this month-end, launching scissor operations to and from North America with a brand new fleet of Boeing aircraft.
At Frankfurt, a passenger flying from Delhi to Newark will be quickly transferred to the Mumbai-Newark flight and a person travelling to Chicago from Mumbai would have to change the aircraft on the Delhi-Chicago route.
It will take about 19 hours, including the changeover time at Frankfurt, for a passenger to reach the US cities from India.
"The Frankfurt hub will become operational on March 29, the beginning of the summer schedule, for some of Air India's flights and will offer more convenient connections to a larger originating traffic," airline's Executive Director Jitender Bhargava said in New Delhi.
AI's decision to have a global hub in Europe follows a similar hub being operated by Jet Airways at Brussels.
The tentative schedule is that the Delhi-Chicago flight would depart at 0130 hours, arrive Frankfurt at 0600 hours (local time) and reach Chicago in the morning at 1030 hours (local time).
The changeover timing at Frankfurt would be "realistic and minimal" as most of Air India's aircraft would be parked side by side and a passenger would just have to shift from one gate to the another.