Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 16:
Odisha capital’s Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) will be connected to one more international destination as Air India is all set to launch direct flight service between New Delhi and San Francisco from December 2.
The national carrier will operate San Francisco-Delhi- Bhubaneswar flight on hub-and-spoke model. Passengers from San Francisco can travel to Bhubaneswar via New Delhi with the same boarding pass.
The thrice-a-week flight, which will cover the distance in a little over 16 hours, will be the first direct flight between India and the US west coast.
On the San Francisco route, Air India will use its three Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
AI will launch the San Francisco-bound service from Delhi with three flights per week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Similarly, the flight from San Francisco to Delhi will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
The Air India Boeing 777-200LR aircraft has 238 seats with eight first class, 35 business class and 195 economy class seats.
In a bid to attract more passengers, Air India will connect seven cities with Delhi to fly the passengers to San Francisco on hub-and-spoke model. On the other hand, it will connect San Francisco-Delhi passengers with nine cities in India on the same model.
According to airport sources, the San Francisco-bound flight from Delhi will leave at 02.35 am and reach its destination at 06.00 am local time covering the distance in 16 hours and 55 minutes. On the return journey, the aircraft will leave San Francisco at 10.30 am and reach Delhi at 04.20 am.
The Bhubaneswar-bound passengers will then board AI 77 at 06.50 am and reach the Temple City at 09.15 am.
“A passenger from San Francisco to Bhubaneswar will cover the distance in less than 24 hours. Now, the service will be available only for San Francisco-Bhubaneswar passengers. Later, the service will be available on AI 74 leaving from Bhubaneswar. The flight leaving Bhubaneswar at 09.30 pm will reach Delhi at 11.55 pm from where the San Francisco-bound passengers can board the flight,” the official added.