This route shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given that it has been rumored for a while. As I first wrote about in January, Air India was planning on launching 3x weekly flights between Delhi and Washington Dulles as of July 2017.
While we’ve known about the route for a couple of months, the route now just finally became bookable.
Air India is launching 3x weekly flights between Delhi and Washington Dulles as of July 7, 2017. The route will operate with the following schedule on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays:
AI103 Delhi to Washington Dulles departing 1:15AM arriving 7:15AM
AI104 Washington Dulles to Delhi departing 11:00AM arriving 10:30AM (+1 day)
The flight covers a distance of ~7,500 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 15hr30min westbound and 14hr eastbound. It will be operated using a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, the same plane they use between Delhi and San Francisco.
Meanwhile there are 35 angled business class seats, in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Best I can tell, it doesn’t look like any award availability has been loaded on the route yet. I suspect it will be soon, and that there should be a fair amount of award availability. Once they do, the cost to redeem miles through various Star Alliance programs will be as follows:
Air Canada Aeroplan (transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest):
- Economy: 50,000 miles
- Business: 75,000 miles
- First: 105,000 miles
Avianca LifeMiles (they frequently sell miles at a discount):
- Economy: 42,500 miles
- Business: 78,000 miles
- First: 111,000 miles
Singapore KrisFlyer (transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Starwood Preferred Guest):
- Economy: 52,500 miles
- Business: 97,500 miles
- First: 132,500 miles
United MileagePlus (transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards):
- Economy: 42,500 miles
- Business: 80,000 miles
- First: 140,000 miles
Air India certainly isn’t the most luxurious airline, though I know many value the convenience of a nonstop, and would rather take a sub-par product on a direct flight than make a connection on another airline, even if the experience is much better. Air India’s first class is quite a comfortable product, and their first class ground experience in Delhi is actually probably the most attentive you’ll experience anywhere.