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Now fly nonstop to US

By Sangeeta Singh in New Delhi
December 02, 2005 10:36 IST
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Headed for the US of A? If you've managed the visa, here's some more good news - flights from India to America are increasingly becoming nonstop, eliminating stopovers at Frankfurt, Heathrow or Schiphol.

The world's largest airline company, American Airlines recently launched its daily transatlantic nonstops between New Delhi and Chicago, soon after Continental Airlines had announced a daily nonstop between New Delhi and New York.

The result is a competitive pricing on tickets - Rs 38,000 return on American Airlines, Rs 45,000 for a round trip on Continental, and a flying time of just 16 hours.

American Airlines has also entered into a code-share partnership with Air Sahara to offer connectivity in both the US and India, to passengers of both Air Sahara and American Airlines. "This will result in higher air traffic between the two countries, which is currently approximately 2.75 million passengers. It is growing at 5 per cent per annum," says Henry C Joyner, senior VP, planning, American Airlines.

Chicago, the hub for American Airlines offers onwards connections to 125 cities in the US. And Continental's hub at Newark Liberty International Airport means it's just 25 km from downtown Manhattan. Continental's timings can be leveraged for easy connectivity throughout USA, Canada and Latin America.

Both airlines claim huge business opportunities in business and leisure traffic. "With American companies increasingly doing business in India, there was need for a nonstop flight between the US and India," says Joyner.

Amercan Airlines postponed it nonstop launch between USA and China in favour of India making Delhi, according to Jeffery Smisek, president, Continental Airlines, its sixth transatlantic route launched in 2005.

The code-share with Air Sahara allows American Airlines access to Air Sahara's domestic network of 25 cities and 126 flights. "Passengers can use Air Sahara's network to reach Delhi and then fly onwards to Chicago and beyond on American Airlines," he says.

The code-share will also enable frequent fliers to avail of the COSMOS points earned on American Airlines. Coimbatore-Delhi-Chicago: Wow!
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Sangeeta Singh in New Delhi
Source: source