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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Air India’s first Delhi-San Francisco flight on August 15, to fly over North Pole

According to a senior AI pilot, will fly over Kyrgyzstan, Russia, the North Pole and Alaska before reaching its destination.

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2019 11:15 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Air India’s (AI) inaugural passenger flight from Delhi to San Francisco, which will fly over the North Pole, will start operations on August 15.
Air India’s (AI) inaugural passenger flight from Delhi to San Francisco, which will fly over the North Pole, will start operations on August 15. (ABHIJIT BHATLEKAR/MINT)
         

Air India’s (AI) inaugural passenger flight from Delhi to San Francisco, which will fly over the North Pole, will start operations on August 15.

According to a senior AI pilot, will fly over Kyrgyzstan, Russia, the North Pole and Alaska before reaching its destination. The current route taken by AI goes via Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, and Japan, before crossing the Pacific Ocean to enter the US. According to the airline the polar route will cut down travel time by up to 1.5 hours.

According to the airline, by flying over the North Pole, each flight will save between 1,700 and 6,000 tonnes of fuel (both ways) every year.

Mukesh Bhatia, director of AI western region, said, “We have hired a flight diversion support agency to ensure the safety of the aircraft and passengers. More than four airports have been asked to serve as alternative airports in the polar regions.”

Dhananjay Kumar, AI’s spokesperson said, “A specialised minimum equipment list will be followed for flights over the polar route, which will be taken only after studying the weather forecast over the region.”

Ashwani Lohani, chairman and managing director, Air India, said, “This is an unparalleled initiative by the national carrier. The passengers of the first flight would be given a commemorative certificate.”

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 23:49 IST

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