Air India Expected To Add 3 More US Cities In 2024 Among Wider International Growth

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  •  Dallas Fort Worth, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Rome, Seattle, and Zurich are stated as coming in 2024.
  •  The carrier previously served five, although most were years ago.
  •  Los Angeles, Seattle, and Dallas are three of Delhi’s five largest unserved North American markets.

Air India has disclosed plans for seven new or returning airports to its network in 2024. This does not mean that others, like the often-discussed Boston, will not appear; we must wait and see.

The planned list is based on a quickly deleted tweet posted on X by JetArena, a reliable and prolific commentator on Indian aviation. It was supplied to me by an anonymous source. It comes as Air India receives another Boeing 777-300ER (OE-IUE, to be VT-AEP) and as its first A350 is set to enter service on January 22nd.

Five long-haul destinations?

It is believed that Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Rome, Seattle, and Zurich will commence. However, there is, of course, no public timetable for when they will be announced, let alone take off. They would presumably operate from Delhi, Air India’s largest hub.

Booking data shows that all five had ~47,000 to ~116,000 roundtrip point-to-point Delhi passengers in 2019, and some have grown nicely in the past year. The three in the US are among Delhi’s top five largest unserved North American markets.

AI new destinations

Image: X

In terms of regular service, Cirium data indicates that Air India last served Los Angeles (via Frankfurt) in 2008, Rome between 2014 and 2021, and Zurich in 2004. A return to Los Angeles was publicly stated in 2023.

Air India B777-200LR

Photo: Air India


As the crow flies, Delhi-Dallas would cover a massive 8,186 miles (13,173 km). It would be Air India’s third-longest non-stop route after Bengaluru-San Francisco and Mumbai-San Francisco. It would cover about 6% more ground than Delhi-San Francisco. As ever, real-world routings may alter this.

A decade ago, there were just over 20.

Booking data shows that the Dallas-Delhi point-to-point market had ~47,000 roundtrip passengers in 2019. Seattle was bigger (~67,000), and Los Angeles was obviously much bigger still (~116,000).

In simple P2P traffic terms, all have a good base to build on, with transit traffic on top. I expect Dallas will be thrice weekly. However, due to its length and temperatures in the summer, it would probably have a payload restriction, reducing its commercial performance.

The aircraft landed in Delhi on December 23.

Two intra-Asia destinations

Then, there are two expected international additions in Asia: Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. Both were previously part of Air India’s network. The Indonesian capital last had regular flights (via Singapore) in 2008 using the A310 (shown below).

Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi were served, although only Mumbai was in the last two years. While Mumbai is a smaller P2P market than Delhi, it is better suited geographically for connections. It will be interesting to see which materializes.

Air India A310

Photo: Air India

The Malaysian capital was also served by Air India’s own equipment (primarily the A310) until 2008. Thereafter, and until 2022, services were by Air India Express.

While Chennai was predictably Air India’s top market to Kuala Lumpur, with some flights via Singapore, will it be Delhi or Mumbai this time? Based on 2019 data, the Delhi P2P market was over twice the size of Mumbai.

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