Well well well. Yields on the non-stop Air India flights between Delhi and San Francisco have been unexpectedly strong, with AI apparently being able to command a significant premium over existing one stop services through the Middle East on QR/EK/EY or other competitors from East Asia. So strong, in fact that AI is increasing flights to a daily service, making them an even more appealing option to the premium traveler. It should be noted that these flights are operated in a two class configuration split between Business and Economy.
Air India is reporting over 80% load factors on the route, with return economy fares this summer in the range of Indian Rs 87,000-96,000 while other airlines started from Rs 60,000 – options that take anywhere up to 32 hours one-way in comparison to AI’s 17.5 hour non stop offering.
Is a new United 787 non stop service not far off? Or will the Star Alliance partners play nice and do a JV and code share on the lucrative route?