In this week’s air travel news, Air India kicks off a new nonstop route from San Francisco, with another one coming in mid-December as India eases up on COVID-19 entry restrictions; United pushes back SFO-Bengaluru flights by several months but sets a March launch for resumption of San Francisco-Hong Kong service; US airlines turned in a good operational performance over the busy Thanksgiving week, with few cancellations; a European low-fare airline plans to compete on the busy New York-Paris route next year; Air Canada plans to drop San Jose-Vancouver service next summer, plus international route news from American, Icelandair, SAS and Hawaiian Airlines; Delta tries to reduce overcrowding at its Sky Club airport lounges with tough new restrictions on who can use them — and membership in the program will cost more; Frontier opens up its all-you-can-fly GoWild! Travel pass program for children; and Alaska Airlines starts distributing its electronic baggage tags to elite Mileage Plan members.
In the latest sign of a reviving trans-Pacific air travel market, Air India this week resumed service on a major long-haul route from San Francisco International to Bengaluru (Bangalore), the hub of the country’s thriving tech industry, operating three flights a week with a Boeing 777-200LR (long range). The airline also plans to add new service Dec. 15 between SFO and Mumbai, India’s financial hub, also with three 777-200LR flights per week. Air India’s SFO-Mumbai schedule is expected to increase from three flights a week to four starting in late March of next year. The carrier also flies to Delhi from SFO 10 times a week. Air India’s winter schedule to the US also includes a new route from New York JFK to Mumbai starting Feb. 14, supplementing its existing Newark-Mumbai flights.