The national carrier Air India has stopped the direct services from Mumbai to New York's John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport reportedly due to reduced demand. Mumbai-New York service was causing more loss to the already debt-ridden airline.
The flight has been discontinued owing to poor load factor or low seat occupancy, Air India's spokesperson told Hindustan Times.
Air India's direct service to New York's JFK airport started in December 2018. There were three services in a week. In February, after Pakistan closed its airspace, the service got suspended, but the air carrier was planning to resume it in June. Now, Air India will not be renewing the service. Moreover, it has not included the service in its winter schedule, which usually commences from the third week of October and extends up to March 2020.
Meanwhile, Air India's service to Newark will continue to operate. AI operates Boeing B777-ER aircraft to operate flights to Newark, Washington, Chicago (from Hyderabad via Delhi), San Francisco and New York from Delhi.
Closure of Pakistan airspace increased the journey time of the service by three hours as the flights are being re-routed via Mumbai or Ahmedabad. Air India is already facing a shortage of aircraft due to the unavailability of spare parts. It also meets the lack of crew members to fly for long routes.
New Air India Flights to Dubai from June
In another development, Air India has announced additional flight services to Dubai. The new services will be from Mumbai and Delhi. The new flights would be launched in the first week of June using B787 aeroplanes. Bookings of the new flights have started.
Dubai witnesses a high number of air travellers as it is one of the most lucrative business and leisure destinations. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to allot 5700 weekly seats to Air India from the unused quota of the grounded Jet Airways. Air India will also get 5000 seats on India-Qatar route and 4600 seats on India-London route.