Chicago-Delhi flight via Hyderabad from Air India soon

Saturday, October 9, 2010, 19:03 by Aviation Correspondent

Air India will launch a new service to Chicago from Hyderabad via Delhi.

The National carrier will be starting the operation of this flight by October 31, 2010. The airline has also initiated plans to launch a direct flight to San Francisco.

By the introduction of this flight, Air India is aiming at the large number of U.S passengers from Pune, Bangalore (Bengaluru) and Hyderabad. The airline will be operating with a Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft and this will be the first Air India Boeing 777 to operate from Hyderabad.

During the winter schedule starting October 29, the airline had plans to start new flights to Melbourne, Chicago and San Francisco. But one of the Independent directors of the company seems to have been against the plan as he wrote to the Civil Aviation Ministry last month saying it would not be profitable for the company. But there are studies being conducted for the launch of San Francisco service.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Air India’s entry into Star Alliance has been delayed – again – by issues relating to IT. The plan to join Star Alliance has been under consideration since 2008; and even a few days back, reports had emerged that the airline finally will join the alliance. It is being reported that the completion of the $190-million SITA migration for the Passenger Services System has been delayed. The airline is now looking at putting that in place by the first quarter of 2011. The snag has been in the integration of the two codes of Indian Airlines (domestic) and Air India (international), as they are on two parallel tracks.

Further, staff members of the airline are being trained on the SITA system so as to quickly address the issues. It is being advised by analysts that Air India’s integration system has to have tiered systems to equip it to integrate with Star Alliance members.