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Air India plans world’s longest non-stop commercial flight

Air India could soon be operating the world’s longest nonstop commercial flight. The airline is planning to link the IT hotspots of India and US — Bengaluru and San Francisco (SFO) — which are almost 14,000 km apart.

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At present the longest nonstop commercial flight is operated by Australian airliner Qantas between Dallas Fort Worth in the US and Sydney which is a 13,730 km journey.

If it opts for Bengaluru-San Francisco connection, the flying time will be almost 17 to 18 hours for the longest nonstop commercial in the world. These ambitious flights will be among the first key decisions to be taken by AI’s new chairman Ashwani Lohani.

The announcement for the nonstop India-SFO flight could be made when Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Silicon Valley later this week. SFO has no direct flight to India despite a significant Indian population in Silicon Valley and the travel requirement of techies between the two cyber hubs.

The announcement for the non-stop Bengaluru-San Francisco flight could be made when PM Modi travels to Silicon Valley later this week.

Linking these two cities was the dream of now-grounded Kingfisher’s promoter Vijay Mallya who had planned to acquire an Airbus A-340 for this service. But his Bengaluru-based airline ran out of cash up and got buried in debt before it could reach US. Naresh Goyal’s Jet Airways had a one-stop flight from Mumbai to San Francisco that flew through China but this flight was stopped about five years back.

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