American Airlines (AA) today signed a code-share agreement with Air Sahara for its daily non-stop service between Chicago and Delhi from November 15.
Customers will be able to travel non-stop from Delhi to Chicago O'Hare International Airport on AA's Boeing 777-200 at special promotional fares starting from Rs 38,000 (plus Rs 7,500 for taxes) round-trip.
The special fares will be applicable for departure between November 17 to February 28 next year and travel must be completed by March 31. But they will not be applicable for departures between December 16 and January 15.
''India is fast emerging as a key investment destination for prominent international business houses,'' said AA's managing director for Asia Pacific region Athar Khan after signing the agreement with Air Sahara's senior vice-president for sales K. Damodaran.
''The increase in trade relations between India and the United States has further boosted the travel between two countries.'' Flight AA 292 will depart Chicago at 1940 hrs to reach Delhi at 2135 hrs. Flight AA 293 will leave Delhi at 0055 hrs and reach Chicago at 0520 hrs (next day).
AA will place its ''AA'' flight code on Air Sahara flights and Air Sahara will place its ''S2'' code on AA new service to Chicago and beyond destinations. With passenger traffic of over 2.75 million and five per cent annual growth, India represents an attractive market for AA. Also, due to shrinking US demand, carefully calibrated international operations can improve its revenue picture.
The code-share contract with Air Sahara will enable AA customers to make connections throughout India using its domestic network of 25 cities and 126 flights. On the other hand, AA will offer unparalleled connectivity to passengers flying to 125 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
AA is the world's largest airline with over 1,000 aircraft and connects 240 cities in 40 countries with 4,200 daily departures. It is a founding member of Oneworld Alliance which brings together the biggest names in airline business.
Air Sahara has 26 planes and connects 25 destinations in India with 126 daily flights. It also flies to Colombo, Kathmandu and Singapore.
So Sahara has finally won the race against 9W in being the first domestic carrier to fly to the US.