It is a very innovative decision being taken by the Air India management, appreciates Jitender Bhargava, former Executive Director, Air India. It reflects a better thinking to fly in the direction of tailwinds which can be leveraged to enhance aircraft’s speed with less usage of fuel. Unlike head-winds that slow down the pace of the aircraft, tail-winds gently push the aircraft to move smoothly with less pressure on its engine. The other point that one needs to look at is the geographical positioning of San-Francisco, says Bhargava, who explains that San-Francisco is equi-distant from New Delhi, so it makes nodifference if one flies to the Silicon Valley via Atlantic or Pacific. But as the proposed flight is non-stop, flying it over the Pacific ensures better economics. “As nobody (Indian carrier) has done it before, so Air India needs to be complimented for this.”
Techies are also demanding a similar flight from the South Indian cities of Bangalore and Hyderabad. Given the large population of Indians working and residing in Silicon Valley, the direct flight to San Francisco would be an attractive route with strong traffic flows driven by businesses related to the IT industry. However the profitability on the single route might fall way short to resurrect the finances of Air India. What can make things worse for the airline is the un-healthy competition that airlines often enter into by passing the entire fuel savings on to its customers.
This benefits the consumers but bleeds the industry.