By James Mathew
Bengaluru airport will soon have direct flight to Tokyo and Munich
American Airlines announced plans to operate a daily service from India’s tech city Bengaluru to Seattle on the west coast from October this year, a move which is expected to increase competition for Middle East-based carriers and airports.
The new American Airlines flight will be the first non-stop flight connecting Benguluru to any US city, and the announcement comes ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to India on February 24-25.
"American Airlines will operate a 285-seater Boeing 787-9 jet on the long-haul route," Bengaluru international airport operator said in a statement.
"The service will meet corporate customers' demand for travel to Seattle and adjoining areas across the US west coast," Bangalore International Airport Ltd chief executive Hari Marar in the statement.
The new route will give passengers from India easier and faster access to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Denver, Arizona, Dallas, Chicago on a one-stop flight, as compared to the multiple stopovers it currently involves.
In addition to Seattle, Benguluru airport will soon have flights to more international destinations.
"We will soon have direct flight to Tokyo in Japan and Munich in Germany, taking our service to 28 overseas cities," Marar said.
An aviation industry analyst said the new direct flights from Benguluru is bound to increase competition for Gulf-based airlines such as Emirates and Etihad, who connect international travellers from India to various destinations in the US, the UK and Europe.
American Airline's 16 hour, 20 minute flight from Seattle to Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport will mark the airline's return to India after nearly a decade.
The carrier ended flights between Chicago and New Delhi in 2012. It will be American Airline's second longest flight, behind Dallas-Hong Kong at 17 hours.
American Airlines will have a codeshare arrangement with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines for the Bengaluru flight.