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Ytraveller
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AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:27 pm

Air India begins the first nonstop flights between India and the US west coast today (India time). Flight 173 departs in 2h45 at 02:35, arriving in SFO at 06:00 same day.

I noticed there is another flight 173, currently en route BLR-DEL. I hoped it would directly connect on to the SFO flight, but it is operated by an A321. Now this is showing up in Amadeus as direct BLR-DEL-SFO, but this can't truly be the case. Could this just be a scheduling mishap and the 77L will later take over BLR-DEL?
 
Rdh3e
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:32 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Thread starter):
Now this is showing up in Amadeus as direct BLR-DEL-SFO, but this can't truly be the case. Could this just be a scheduling mishap and the 77L will later take over BLR-DEL?

Airlines schedule thru flights all the time with equipment changes. Totally normal.
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:37 pm

"Direct" flight with change-of-gauge at DEL. The USA carriers do it all the time.
Example: DL12, SLC-MSP-LHR, operated with mix of A320 and B764.
https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/dl12/
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:37 pm

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 1):

I was wondering because all of AI's other US flights connect to certain Indian cities with same equipment. E.g. HYD-DEL-ORD, all of which is operated by 77W. I wonder why SFO would be different.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:38 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Thread starter):

Air India begins the first nonstop flights between India and the US west coast today (India time). Flight 173 departs in 2h45 at 02:35, arriving in SFO at 06:00 same day.

It's 12/1 right now in SF. I'm assuming this flight doesn't leave until something like 4-6PM local time for SFO.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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S75752
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:42 pm

It's very exciting to finally have the much needed DEL-SFO-DEL about to be realized.

As much as I would like to go spotting to see this proud moment when it lands and departs, timing conflicts. Hopefully, there will at least be an A.netter or two aboard it, and hopefully a trip report surfaces!
 
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psa1011
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:43 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):

It's currently just after midnight on 12/2 in Delhi, and the flight leaves at 2:45AM, so about 2.5 hours from now, or about 1-130PM in SF.
 
BiggerJetsPlz
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:49 pm

Which plane will get the honors? VT-ALF, VT-ALG, or VT-ALH? According to flight aware they're all flying again. That's great news coming from VT-ALH being rumored to be scrapped, and VT-ALG going for about a year without flying.
 
Nimish
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:51 pm

Kudos to AI on finally launching this route. Rumor has it that the forward bookings are excellent - not all are net new bookings, many are conversions from EY, UA and others.

I hope that UA one days starts active code shares/ potential JV with AI on the India-US runs - they have the potential to add multiple additional non-stops from UA hubs to India, and beat the ME3 at their game. I bet AI is waiting for that call/ email from UA  
Incredible India!
 
behramjee
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:52 pm

AI should seriously consider ordering few B778Xs which have the capability to fly all DEL-USA routes nonstop including IAH. It would be carrying 15-20% approximately more pax capacity too which shall in turn help increase revenue generation. It would be a direct replacement for the B77L and hopefully once delivered would be configured in a more commercially viable manner i.e. 30J (flat beds) + 288Y !!!
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:15 pm

Quoting BiggerJetsPlz (Reply 7):

Aircraft is VT-ALG, approaching runway 29 now. We will see her 16h45 later!
 
CPH-R
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:21 pm

For those wishing to follow along (while it's in range, anyway):
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/AIC173
and
http://www.flightradar24.com/AIC173/823d1d3

Edit: I guess they route northwest for a while and then join the polar route used by EK & EY for their west coast flight?

[Edited 2015-12-01 13:40:12]
 
audian
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:07 pm

Why isn't that there's no information on aircraft type?
 
reality
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:14 pm

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 11):
I guess they route northwest for a while and then join the polar route used by EK & EY for their west coast flight?

They are skirting around the Himalayas before heading North.


"Very high terrain [is avoided] not because the airplane can't fly over it but because there's no escape route possible in case something happens. (Himalayas)" http://www.quora.com/What-commercial...-the-most-from-a-great-circle-path
 
as739x
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:53 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):

It's already airport over Afghanistan currently at 1450L Pacific time

AI 173 flight time today 16hr 42min.....ouch!!
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
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legacyins
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:32 pm

Some departure photos from DEL. Photos compliments from Air India Twitter.

 
rta
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:39 pm

Not sure I could handle a flight that long. Will be interesting to see how it does.
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:48 pm

Quoting legacyins (Reply 15):

Thanks for the pics. I wonder why HYD is celebrating, it's not like the SFO flight originates there? (the ORD flight does though)
 
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777Jet
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:49 pm

Folks in the Bay area: Please be alert for panels that may fall off of this aircraft as it flys overhead as AI have been known to use only 4 of 47 screws to hold panels in place!

Otherwise happy spotting! 
DC10-10/30,MD82/88/90, 717,727,732/3/4/5/7/8/9ER,742/4,752/3,763/ER,772/E/L/3/W,788/9, 306,320,321,332/3,346,359,388
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:10 am

Quoting as739x (Reply 14):
AI 173 flight time today 16hr 42min.....ouch!!

Damn, that is a hell of a flight. Would never want to do that nonstop.

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 11):
For those wishing to follow along (while it's in range, anyway):

Why did it curve around China? Is AI not allowed in Chinese airspace?
 
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DolphinAir747
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:16 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 19):
Damn, that is a hell of a flight. Would never want to do that nonstop.

I've done almost that long on CX but AI is significantly more painful I assume....
 
modesto2
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:26 am

Hoping that some spotters will catch it upon arrival tomorrow morning in SFO!
 
BiggerJetsPlz
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:42 am

Well welcome back to flying, VT-ALG. That's the best news to me about this route. All eight of AI's 77Ls are now doing ULH again (five with Etihad).

It's a happy ending to threads like this: Another Air India Scrapping (by n471wn Mar 28 2014 in Civil Aviation)
 
747megatop
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:45 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 19):
Why did it curve around China? Is AI not allowed in Chinese airspace?

I was wondering the same thing. I would have expected it go over western China, then the western tip of Mongolia etc.
 
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legacyins
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:01 am

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 21):
Hoping that some spotters will catch it upon arrival tomorrow morning in SFO!

Considering the flight is scheduled to arrive at 0600 and sunrise is at 0705, the light conditions will be less than ideal. I'll try to get the departure at 1000 .
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:03 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 19):
Why did it curve around China? Is AI not allowed in Chinese airspace?

It's avoiding the Himalayas (see post #13). Now it looks like it's following the path EK takes DXB-SFO.

AI is allowed in Chinese airspace (they fly to PVG).
 
as739x
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:09 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 19):

Ytraveller is correct. They avoid the highest peaks of the Himalayas ,as the engine out performance over those mountains would lead to one hell of a situation if they lose an engine, specially at that weight.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
kaitak744
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:02 am

Any other ULH routes planned with the remaining 777-200LRs?
 
DTWLAX
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:38 am

Looking at Flightradar right now,
http://www.flightradar24.com/AIC173/823d1d3

AI 173 is being followed by AI 191 (BOM-EWR) using the same routing heading north
 
upwardfacing
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:55 am

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 25):
It's avoiding the Himalayas (see post #13). Now it looks like it's following the path EK takes DXB-SFO.

AI is allowed in Chinese airspace (they fly to PVG).

Their chosen routing is curious and merits further investigation.

If you simply look at one-stop transpacific options for this time of year, adding up the block times of DEL-XYZ + XYZ-SFO to one another

e.g., MU via PVG (16:40), OZ via ICN (17:00), CI via TPE (16:50),

and compare them to the block time of the AI nonstop (16:55), it is clear that a transpacific routing would be faster. This would make sense, given the tailwinds encountered on an eastbound transpacific flight.

It leads one to question why AI would choose a longer-duration routing.

Is there a political issue here?
 
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RWA380
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:17 am

Quoting DTWLAX (Reply 28):
AI 173 is being followed by AI 191 (BOM-EWR) using the same routing heading north

When I looked last, AI BOM-EWR, DEL-JFK, DEL-ORD & DEL-SFO were all tracking the same exact path through Russian airspace, then as they hit Swedish airspace they all started going separate ways, SFO flight is not the most northerly oddly enough.
707 717 720 727-1/2 737-1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 747-1/2/3/4 757-2/3 767-2/3/4 777-2/3 DC8 DC9 MD80/2/7/8 D10-1/3/4 M11 L10-1/2/5 A300/310/320
AA AC AQ AS BA BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HG HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WC WN WP YS 8M
 
RemoFlyer
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:41 am

Quoting upwardfacing (Reply 29):
Their chosen routing is curious and merits further investigation.

If you simply look at one-stop transpacific options for this time of year, adding up the block times of DEL-XYZ + XYZ-SFO to one another

e.g., MU via PVG (16:40), OZ via ICN (17:00), CI via TPE (16:50),

and compare them to the block time of the AI nonstop (16:55), it is clear that a transpacific routing would be faster. This would make sense, given the tailwinds encountered on an eastbound transpacific flight.

They cannot carry the fuel weight of an ULH over the higher peaks eastbound just in case something happens.

Your examples of DEL xxx xxx SFO would carry a lot less fuel on the first leg
 
upwardfacing
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:21 am

Quoting RemoFlyer (Reply 31):
They cannot carry the fuel weight of an ULH over the higher peaks eastbound just in case something happens.

Your examples of DEL xxx xxx SFO would carry a lot less fuel on the first leg

Thanks for the explainer.

AFAIK, DEL-China/Japan/Korea routes all track the Ganges River valley, then pass through Myanmar and Southern China, turning north as required for PVG/PEK/ICN/NRT. Routings avoid high elevation Himalayan areas.

Do Myanmar and Southern China present challenges as well, elevation-wise?

Otherwise I would have thought a flight path over CAN/HKG/TPE would work well for DEL-SFO.
 
15a
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:05 am

The routing they have taken today is a little longer than the ideal routing which would have taken a routing similar to what EY and EK normally take. Interesting to note that even EY and EK are taking a similar routing today (to locations as apart as JFK, IAH and SEA). Having said that, it is still way shorter than a routing over China as suggested over here (with all the attendant restrictions on Himalayan overflight).
Comparisons here
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=DEL-ATQ...G=0.82&SU=mach&E=180&EV=410&EU=kts
 
Qantas744er
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:42 am

Quoting 15a (Reply 33):
The routing they have taken today is a little longer than the ideal routing which would have taken a routing similar to what EY and EK normally take. Interesting to note that even EY and EK are taking a similar routing today (to locations as apart as JFK, IAH and SEA). Having said that, it is still way shorter than a routing over China as suggested over here (with all the attendant restrictions on Himalayan overflight).
Comparisons here

Ideally this flight should be going polar (just like EK/EY flights to the west coast). However, this involves Russian airspace overnight which may not yet have been granted (the fees charged by Russia are very high).

Furthermore, there are operational considerations when operating in the polar region. Such as: suitability of alternates etc. crew training and procedures and on certain days even ETOPS beyond 180 minutes, when normal alternates become unavailable and 207 minutes is required to fly the route (merely a 15% time extension to ETOPS 180, identical requirements with 180).

The indian aviation regulator may not yet have approved AI for polar ops.

It would certainly shorten the flight by 20-30 minutes on most days. AI may well be in the process of receiving approval and undertaking training for operating in the remote polar region, or they may simply choose to operate a slightly less efficient route (on most days polar is the way to is the most efficient).

EK/EY were also forced to operate non-polar routes when LAX/SFO were first launched, before the UAE GCAA approved them to operate in that remote region (which they now do on almost every DXB-SFO/LAX/SEA flight.

AI's B77Ls have the highest available MTOW Boeing offers of 347.452kg/766,000lbs. With their low density config of 238 seats, (EK 's have 266 seats) and due to them choosing the small aft cargo door (no cargo pallets in the aft hold) they will not be carrying too much payload and thus be able to carry the full 145.5t of tank fuel capacity if need be (depending on daily fuel temp. and thus density). No AUX tanks fitted on these aircraft.

Only EK took delivery of AUX tanks on 3/4 of their 10 -200LRs these were all removed relatively quickly, but they were also smart enough to order the large aft cargo door and thus can carry cargo pallets in the aft hold as well. EK don't even see the need to operate at the maximum available MTOW and have chosen 343,369kgs/757,000lbs. May increase this now for the new DXB-PTY-DXB sector.

AI's -200LRs have a solid 18 hour range (with reserves) at ~200t zero fuel weights and are finally operating flights they were built to operate!

[Edited 2015-12-01 23:50:16]

[Edited 2015-12-01 23:52:52]

[Edited 2015-12-01 23:57:38]
You live and you die, by the FMA
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:46 am

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 25):
It's avoiding the Himalayas
Quoting as739x (Reply 26):
Ytraveller is correct. They avoid the highest peaks of the Himalayas ,as the engine out performance over those mountains would lead to one hell of a situation if they lose an engine, specially at that weight.

Thank you both for the explanation, makes sense!

Quoting Qantas744er (Reply 34):
The indian aviation regulator may not yet have approved AI for polar ops.

It would certainly shorten the flight by 20-30 minutes on most days. AI may well be in the process of receiving approval and undertaking training for operating in the remote polar region, or they may simply choose to operate a slightly less efficient route (on most days polar is the way to is the most efficient).

EK/EY were also forced to operate non-polar routes when LAX/SFO were first launched, before the UAE GCAA approved them to operate in that remote region (which they now do on almost every DXB-SFO/LAX/SEA flight.

From what you explained, this sounds very correct. I spent hours staring at FR24 today, and it would make a ton more sense for AI to operate the same polar routings that EK uses, I assume that will come with approval and time.
 
BHXLOVER
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:49 am

Quoting legacyins (Reply 24):
Considering the flight is scheduled to arrive at 0600 and sunrise is at 0705, the light conditions will be less than ideal. I'll try to get the departure at 1000 .

Will that layover leave enough time to get spares in ? (Core Truths of A-Net #50)

But seriously, it is great to see all of AI's B77L's in the air. Good luck to them on this route.
 
himmat01
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:20 am

Good luck and best wishes to AI for this sector as well as all the existing sectors.
An airplane might disappoint any pilot but it'll never surprise a good one.
 
S75752
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:59 pm

It's almost here! I'm so excited for both SFO and AI, the route may be many years overdue, but better late than never!

Quoting Qantas744er (Reply 34):

The indian aviation regulator may not yet have approved AI for polar ops.
Quoting Qantas744er (Reply 34):

EK/EY were also forced to operate non-polar routes when LAX/SFO were first launched, before the UAE GCAA approved them to operate in that remote region (which they now do on almost every DXB-SFO/LAX/SEA flight.

What does that entail?
 
Nimish
Posts: 2969
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:03 pm

Which would be the right frequencies to track AI173 as it reaches SFO? http://www.liveatc.net/search/?icao=ksfo
Incredible India!
 
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Spiderguy252
Posts: 1158
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:21 pm

Holla! This is one long flight:

http://i.imgur.com/nfRIXo9.png
Vahroone
 
milestones787
Posts: 74
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:56 pm

Just got a very dark picture of her landing! I'll post in a few hours when I am back at my desk.
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:24 pm

Very warm welcome to AI. Hoping this route does well and they up the frequency.

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 17):

Here is the answer: http://m.ndtv.com/hyderabad-news/air...francisco-flight-via-delhi-1248531

Interesting how BLR didn't get this opportunity....
 
atal17
Posts: 447
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:56 am

RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:29 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 42):

Uh oh, you fell victim to Indian media reporting. That's just the PR. There were celebrations everywhere.

Anyhow, inaugural flight load was 230/238 - 5 non-rev + 225 rev.
 
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Ytraveller
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:01 pm

Quoting atal17 (Reply 43):
Uh oh, you fell victim to Indian media reporting. That's just the PR. There were celebrations everywhere.

What do you mean? I thought this was pretty significant:

Quote:

The flight will travel non-stop from New Delhi to San Francisco and passengers headed to the US city will undergo all customs and immigration formalities at Hyderabad airport for their onward journey, the national carrier said in a statement.
 
Nimish
Posts: 2969
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:02 pm

Quoting atal17 (Reply 43):
Anyhow, inaugural flight load was 230/238 - 5 non-rev + 225 rev.

That's pretty good considering the flight was loaded so recently and well - AI having the reputation it supposedly does!
Incredible India!
 
reality
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:01 pm

RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:34 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 44):
What do you mean? I thought this was pretty significant:

Quote:

The flight will travel non-stop from New Delhi to San Francisco and passengers headed to the US city will undergo all customs and immigration formalities at Hyderabad airport for their onward journey, the national carrier said in a statement.

I think he means that the part about pre-clearance in Hyderabad is simply not true. It seems to be an error on the part of the journalist. And this flight does not begin in Hyderabad anyway.
 
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Ytraveller
Topic Author
Posts: 1287
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RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:35 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 44):

OK, well passengers originating in BLR can also clear customs/immigration in BLR itself.

Still, I have no idea why AI 174 BLR-DEL is operated by A321, not 77L to directly connect to the SFO flight. If HYD-DEL-ORD, AMD-BOM-EWR, BOM-DEL-JFK (all AI's US bound flights) all use the same equipment throughout, what makes BLR different? As a BLR fan this is frustrating...

http://www.bangaloreaviation.com/201...francisco-flight-to-bangalore.html
 
reality
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:01 pm

RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 47):
OK, well passengers originating in BLR can also clear customs/immigration in BLR itself.

That doesn't seem to be true either. There was a thread about that here recently. There is no pre-clearance anywhere in India as far as I know. Nor there will there be according to what I read here. Apparently a few press reports in India got it wrong and the misinformation persists.
 
airDFW
Posts: 293
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:44 pm

RE: AI Begins SFO Today 2 Dec

Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:54 pm

Quoting Ytraveller (Reply 47):
OK, well passengers originating in BLR can also clear customs/immigration in BLR itself.

It is the Indian customs/immigration not US.

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