Game-Changer: Air India Plans New Non-Stop Flights from Delhi to LA and Dallas

Air India, which went from near-collapse to new planes, new seats and new uniforms, is planning to fly from Delhi to both Los Angeles and Dallas – Fort Worth, according to an internal schedule. Specific flight numbers, flight times, and an aircraft type have been assigned.

  • 5 times weekly service to Los Angeles
  • 4 times weekly service to Dallas
  • Both flights to use Boeing 777 ’77B’ aircraft

New Air India Uniforms

Those more familiar with Air India’s fleet plan can chime in on whether the 77B is ex-Delta Boeing 777-200LRs, or ex-Etihad birds.

The Dallas schedule appears to be:

    Delhi – Dallas Fort Worth, 2:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m., Air India Flight AI199
    Dallas Fort Worth – Delhi, 12:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.+1, Air India Flight AI198

There are over 900 passengers per day flying from DFW to India, though Delhi isn’t actually the most popular destination. Both Hyderabad and Mumbai are larger markets. Currently Qatar Airways (via Doha) and Emirates (via Dubai) are carrying the greatest portion of this traffic, followed by Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul). It’s not clear that Air India will have a schedule advantage attracting passengers outside of Delhi non-stop customers.

In some ways it’s surprising to see Air India plan Dallas service before Houston, where Star Alliance partner United has a hub that would allow for picking up connecting traffic from the Midwest and South. However Air India and United don’t have a close relationship and the flight likely wouldn’t see much support. Los Angeles seems an obvious market, and is one where Air India previously served one-stop via Europe.

The Dallas flight is shown in internal plans as starting February 1, which seems impossible at this point for a flight not formally announced or loaded for sale. Presumably this date gets pushed back.

DFW-based American Airlines currently flies to Delhi from New York JFK. That flight, while operationally much improved since launch, suffers restrictions from the lack of Russian overflight. DFW would be harder for American to accomplish. They are also short on capable aircraft.

There was a time when American, which had planned Seattle – Bangalore prior to the pandemic, wouldn’t have allowed Air India to launch Dallas service without competition. When Icelandic airlines started to fly to Dallas from Reykjavik, then-CEO Doug Parker explained American’s response,

We would never allow that in Dallas Fort-Worth. Somebody starts flying a flight from Dallas to anywhere and American either is already there or we’re gonna be there.

Because we’re not going to let customers have another option other than American in and out of here.

Once Icelandair and Wow Air pulled out of Dallas, American ended their own Dallas – Reykjavik service and moved it to Philadelphia. I’d be surprised by a similar competitive response to Air India today.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Even people from India do not fly air India. How the heck it is a game change?
    Is it post just for a post?

  2. There is nothing AA operates that can fly nonstop from DFW to India with Russian airspace restrictions.

  3. Hopefully a condition of this approval involves restricting overflying Russian airspace just like with the Chinese carriers with their additional frequencies. UA is struggling on operating some Indian routes due to airspace restrictions. AI (or any carrier) should be subject to the same restrictions for any new US service.

  4. @Alex – the point is the game is changing, American is vulnerable, they don’t have the ability to retaliate when airlines come into DFW with long haul routes.

  5. guv Abbot must be apoplectic hearing this news- a great back haul- sending migrants to India and then collecting a per diem from the Fed.

  6. Services have been getting better. Hopefully Vistara Management will completely take over and maintain the new aircrafts.

  7. Perhaps I’m putting the positive aa spin on this… I guess I am.
    Call me Jim Tunn… the aa defender at all costs…

    Instead of searching for the aa response, this does feel like an AI response (after years) to AA/QR’s partnership deepening. Sure… that partnership will take you to the Maldives, Kilimanjaro, or Muscat, but it’s been heavily weighted to US O&D going to India (obviously ME3 and TK provide a good product too).

    Not sure why aa would even want to respond to a low yield nonstop like dfw-del (who doesn’t serve that city pair one stop with more glamor than AI from DFW? Even Skyteam does the majority of the year. All three JVs do as do EK and TK) when most of their local customers will prefer QR regardless to any destination in India ex-DEL and many to DEL as well if it’s QR vs AI. And AI will have little to zero feed from dfw.

    There isn’t an aa plane that can do dfw-del without Russian overflight as Gary and many have said, but why would aa do it anyway when they’ve spent so much time deepening the QR relationship to carry that low yield traffic to begin with?

    Cool route though. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just curious to see how the marketing of the “new AI” plays out vs the flight attendants based in the historic AI culture that have been their decades. Plenty of US carriers have tried to market their way out of lousy service to little avail.

    But point taken… aa said nobody would start a new route to dfw without a response but that went out the window with IST a while back. Aa didn’t seem to mean everything, and certainly not low yield routes that a carrier like QR can do better and with people preferring them anyway

  8. What a cool route. GCM shows a polar route over eastern Kazakhstan at just under 8200 miles.

    For comparison SQ23/24 are over 9500 miles. There is no commercial metal capable of serving DFW-DEL or JFK-SIN, without Russian airspace. I guess GSW will have to eat crow on this and it’s great to see. EVA, Garuda, Hawaiian, KLM, Malaysian, SAS, Singapore, Swiss, TAP & Virgin, come on down!

    A brief aside:

    DFW celebrates it’s 50th anniversary this month. I was there on opening day, flying the Chicken Kiev Butterscotch Sundae Royal Service up front from DFW to SFO on a glorious Rolls-Royce powered L-1011.

    DFW Regional Airport opened for commercial service on 13 January 1974. International services on that day were 727s flown by Air Canada (YYZ) and Mexicana (MEX).

    I don’t know if he reads Gary, but a shoutout goes to Jeff Fegan who started as an Associate Planning Manager and rose through the ranks to CEO and had the vision and skill to convert DFW in to a fully functional death star with the Skylink train system. AMR is nowhere without Jeff.

  9. Singapore Airlines does not use Russian airspace for its flights from JFK/EWR to SIN or vice versa.
    Flights are scheduled for a max of 18.25 hours but are making it in less than time than that right now.
    SQ uses A350-900ULRs which are 280 tonne maximum takeoff weight aircraft with a reduced capacity in an all business/premium economy configuration
    AA just doesn’t have that aircraft and the economics of a reduced configuration aircraft don’t work to India.

    It is probably true that AA doesn’t need to match but they do carry traffic on their flight via JFK that will be pulled onto AI’s flight. How much traffic and what it is worth will become apparent.

  10. I would have thought both the LAX market and the SFO-HYD and SFO-MAA routes would be more lucrative. Also Houston to BOM and DEL more lucrative? Ignorant as to whether AI has metal capability to do those routes.

  11. “Once Icelandair and Wow Air pulled out of Dallas, American ended their own Dallas – Reykjavik service and moved it to Philadelphia. I’d be surprised by a similar competitive response to Air India today.”

    This is not anti competitive at all.
    Nope. Never.

    Right? RIGHT?

    The arrogance in America West CEO’s response shows they give a rat’s behind about the customer.

    And yet thr gubmint slept through this.

  12. This new route shines a light on AA’s horrible route planning and fleet planning decisions.

  13. Why do Misters Leff and Dunn appear to want American Airlines to be liquidated? I ask this question because both gentlemen consistently seem to derive extraordinary pleasure from watching American get challenged by competitors.

  14. Supposedly the DFW route is being significantly incentivised financially by a Texas Hindu temple group on the condition that the flight connects (maybe even same flight number) to the new airport in Ayodhya (AYJ).

    As for Russian airspace, the key difference is that India and the US have open skies while China doesn’t. That’s not a battle or precedent that the FAA or DOT wants to get involved with.

  15. I am so happy to see air India launching or at least planning to launch more routes to US. More power to them! I love their service

  16. I’d think rather than DFW, would’ve made more sense to launch service from Atlanta first given its not served by Emirates and secondly with Indian American population there’s likely 20 to 30% more traffic of passengers traveling to India from ATL vs DFW (I used chatgpt to generate this estimate)

  17. nobody said anything about or wants AA to be liquidated just because they can’t fly a route that a foreign airline can.
    AI will take a certain amount of traffic that AA carries via JFK.

    Take a trip to the Sun and gain a new perspective.

  18. In order for Air India,’s DFW and other North American services to succeed, they should connect Delhi with cities in south India, like Kozhikode (CCJ), Kannur (CNN), Trichy, (TRZ), Coimbatore (CJB), Mangalore (IXE) .

  19. Dallas to Bangalore BLR is better route than Delhi. As majority of Indian population in DFW is from southern parts of India. Stopping at Delhi does not make sense compared to any other non-Indian city , as you need to clear immigration and customs and need to check bags again if it is Delhi.

  20. This is a game changer for my old parents that can now travel more easily.

    Shame so many trolls have nothing better to do with their lives.

  21. I think this is a great addition – direct flights to India are always welcome. Though not sure why so many new flights go into DEL vs. BOM, BLR or HYD. I hate connecting from DEL to BOM as the connection process is not seamless and flights usually land late at night with a 5-8 hour layover before the domestic portion of the flight.

    BTW, I have flown Air India for years and found that it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. I quite enjoyed my AI flights and especially the flight and ground crew who are far more pleasant than UA/AA/DL staff.

  22. Air India has been improving its service a lot these days! Apart from the cookie cutter responses from folks about the peeing incident, they have nothing good to say about AI. Similar incidents have happened with other airlines and they don’t get blown up like these 🙂 That said, AA in no way can give any competition to AI if it starts the DEL-DFW service! That is for many reasons: AA has no aircraft for that; not much connectivity beyond DEL. The main selling point for AI for this service would be the P2P + connecting traffic for Indian diaspora. There are plenty of passengers who prefer to fly directly to India over the Middle Eastern destinations, especially from a growing metro like Dallas. The new Tata management of AI seems aggressive enough to capture enough traffic from the ME3 carriers, there is a very good chance for this service to succeed. I think, in another five years time, AI would capture significant portion of the traffic between US and India. They are making the right moves!

  23. Why are so many folks compelled to trot out the same tropes in any story involving India on this blog ? Why are you so easily amused and so anxious to dehumanize others ?

    Do you not see others as people just as you are, rather than a grab bag of your most distasteful stereotypes and memes ?

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