Air India to fly over Pacific Ocean to cut fuel costs

Air India will soon start flying over the Pacific Ocean region for its profitable direct services to San Francisco from New Delhi to save significant fuel costs and time.

Aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved the new route. Air India would double the frequency of its Delhi-San Francisco direct flights to six per week from November. DGCA approval for pacific route comes as a boost for the national carrier. Air India would also be the first Indian carrier to operate on the Pacific region route. In the new route, Air India would fly eastwards to reach San Francisco by crossing the vast Pacific Ocean.

Even though the route would be almost 1,400 km more compared to the current trajectory where the flight flies over the Atlantic, there would be significant saving on fuel and journey time due to powerful tailwinds.

According to a pilot, the plane, on an average burns, 9600 ltrs of fuel for each hour of flying. Explaining how the aircraft would fly faster, the pilot said earth rotates from west to east and winds also flow in that direction.

So, flying west means facing strong headwinds (that decreases an aircraft’s actual ground speed and more fuel is spent), while flying east means getting strong tailwinds which raises the speed and lessens fuel consumption, he added.

Weather conditions and speed of winds in the Pacific region would help the airline in reducing fuel burn and the overall journey time by three hours in winter and an hour in summer.

During winter per trip 28,800 liters of fuel and during summer per trip 9600 ltrs of fuel will be saved. This is  advantageous  for both Air India and its passengers.

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