Bengaluru: Air India’s first flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco takes off without glitches. Kempe Gowda International Airport, Bengaluru, scripted history on Monday afternoon when Captain Channappa Venkatappa Madhu took off for a non-stop Air India flight connecting to San Francisco, covering more than 14,000 km in approximately 16 hours.
Prior to the flight taking off at 2:30 pm, both Air India and Bengaluru International Airport Limited authorities organized a small function as a mark of commencement of new flight service. Capt. Madhu and crew members of (AI 175) cut the cake.
With this, Melwin D’Silva, Executive Director, Commercial Air India Limited, said that Bengaluru airport becomes first in South India with a non-stop flight to the United States connecting the two technology hubs and sister cities of Bengaluru (BLR) and San Francisco (SFO).
“This will be Air India’s longest route covering over 14,000 km in approximately 16 hours. This is a bi-weekly service flight. This route is also one of the top 10 longest routes in the world, in terms of distance flown,” he explained.
According to him, Air India has always been on the forefront of supporting the nation on all counts, whether it is evacuation connecting people to various destinations, AI has been on the forefront.
“Today is a historic moment, we are connecting Silicon valley of India with Silicon Valley of the US,” he added.
The happiness and enthusiasm of passengers who wanted to board the maiden flight from Bengaluru were palpable and infectious. Of the 221 passengers who had booked for the first flight, the honour of the boarding first passenger went to Ramaswamy Rajkumar, who was welcomed with a bouquet of flowers by the crew members.
While Hari Marar, managing director, and CEO at the Bangalore International Airport Ltd., said that this is the moment for BIAL. “Fact that it took so many years to get a direct connection with Bengaluru with the US that too to San Francisco. It was an absolutely incredible choice to make this happen. Both are tech capitals of respective countries and Bangaloreans will celebrate this choice made by the AI,” he said.
He added that the start of this non-stop route marks a significant milestone for Bengaluru Airport as it becomes the first city in South India to connect with the United States.
Marar added that the BIAL will continue to explore new routes that connect Bengaluru to key destinations across the world.
This is the first nonstop flight between Bengaluru and the United States, connecting the world’s two tech hubs and sister cities – the original Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley of India.
The BIAL in its statement stated that with Air India being a star alliance member, convenient connections would be offered to passengers travelling onward. “Hence, with the introduction of BLR-SFO flight, traffic flows will not be limited to only SFO, but to the surrounding regions as well,” the statement claimed.
Earlier in the day the BIAL also achieved another piece of history, with non-stop (AI 176) originating from San Francisco all women crew landed in Bengaluru at 3:07 am.
An elated D’Silva, ED (Commercial) Air India Limited, stated that the AI has scripted a new history in Indian Aviation as incoming flight from San Francisco was flown by all woman crew. “This first in the history of Indian Aviation. Air india feels proud to be associated with anything to do with aviation and prosperity of the nation,” he told reporters.