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Saturday, Nov 16, 2002

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Air India to add another flight on Delhi-NY route

Ashwini Phadnis

NEW DELHI, Nov. 15

IN an attempt to provide greater connectivity to US destinations, Air India is to launch its fifth weekly flight on the Delhi-London-New York sector by the end of the month. This, of course, is to be followed by the much-publicised launch of a thrice-a-week service on the Mumbai-Paris-Newark sector on December 3.

But probably what will come as a major relief to the domestic passenger travelling on the soon to be introduced AI flight between Mumbai and Newark is that the Maharaja is to provide "near direct" air connections from Ahmedabad, Kochi and Chennai in such a manner that the passenger can travel almost directly from the interiors of India to the US.

"The launch of the new service on the Mumbai-US sector will provide a wider choice to the passengers from Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. After completing immigration and customs checks at their respective destinations, passengers from these States will be able to connect on to an AI flight within the shortest possible waiting time. The waiting time for passengers travelling by the soon to be introduced service to the US will be much less than what a similar passenger will have to spend in Mumbai if travelling by another international airline," AI officials said. Similarly, passengers travelling from the US will also be able to reach the interiors of the southern and western parts of the country in a much shorter time than what it would take them otherwise.

Both the flights on the Mumbai-Newark and Delhi-New York sector are to be operated with a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which will offer seats in first, business and economy class. And those connecting with the Newark flight can enjoy the comforts of an AI Airbus A-310 aircraft between different parts of the country and Mumbai.

Meanwhile, what is causing immense satisfaction to the authorities is that the flight is already "fully booked", though the service has not started.

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