New Delhi, Aug 16: National carrier Air India on Thursday operated its inaugural flight from New Delhi to San Francisco via North Pole, a statement said here on Friday.
"This is a tremendous unparalleled initiative by the national carrier that would save precious fuel and also reduce travel time for our flights to the US. The passengers of the first flight Delhi-San Francisco flight AI-173 were given a commemorative certificate as a remembrance of this historic flight," said AI CMD Ashwani Lohani on polar flight.
"Polar routes between India and North American destinations are yet to be utilized. Situated on opposite sides of the Northern Hemisphere, India and North America would benefit immensely by using existing North Polar Routes for commercial air operations," the statement said.
"Air India is in a unique position to offer non-stop flights between India and North America. In our constant endeavour to conserve fuel, reduce travel times, improve aircraft utility and reduce carbon emission, we have flights via the Atlantic and the Pacific on these routes," he added.
North Polar Region has given airlines the opportunity to reach destinations previously unavailable to non-stop services and reduce flying times on existing routes and city pairs. Increasing use of these routes has resulted in major improvements in areas of aviation infrastructure such as communications, air traffic control, and services supplied at remote airports.
The fuel savings are expected be in the region of 2,000-7,000 kg on these routes with the resultant decrease in carbon emission of 6,000-21,000 kg per flight. This is part of the initiatives of the Fuel Conservation Committee set up by the Director Operations.
The inaugural revenue flight over the Polar region was piloted by Capt Rajneesh Sharma and Capt Digvijay Singh. (UNI)