US-based Continental Airlines has launched the first ever non-stop
flight service from India to the US, fulfilling a major need for Indian
travellers. The airline has started a daily non-stop flight from New
Delhi to New York effective Thursday.
The journey from New Delhi to New York will take nearly 16 hours
(westward) while the return journey will take nearly 14 hours (eastward).
Significantly, the airline has chosen to operate its non-stop flights out of
New Delhi instead of Mumbai. “This is not a reflection on the Mumbai
market, but our conclusion is that there is a tremendous market waiting
to be tapped for non-stop flights to the US from Delhi,” said Continental
Airlines senior vice-president John Walker.
flight. The aircraft has a capacity of 283 passengers. There are 48 business
class seats while the rest of the seats are economy class. A return ticket is
priced at Rs 45,000. “No other airline is operating non-stop flights from India
to the US,” said Mr Walker. Currently, passengers have to travel via Europe
for a stopover enroute to the US. Most airlines break journey in major
European capitals for refuelling. The non-stop service will be a huge relief
for passengers travelling on the India-US route as they do not have to
waste time transiting European airports.