Latest route launches (8 – 13 January)
Bangalore to San Francisco
Air India began San Francisco to Bangalore on 9 January, with the reverse direction taking off on 11 January.
The 14,003-kilometre service is operated twice-weekly using B777-200LRs. Whichever specific aircraft is used is routed Delhi – San Francisco – Bangalore – San Francisco – Delhi.
AI176 took off from San Francisco at 2058 and touched down in India after 16 hours and 39 minutes and two days later at 0307.
The return, AI175, left Bangalore at 1536 and landed back in California after 14 hours and 40 minutes at 1646.
In 2019, San Francisco – Bangalore had point-to-point demand of 137,000 with an approximate average one-fare fare of US$733 (excluding fuel surcharges, taxes, and ancillaries).
For all of India to San Francisco, demand was over 700,000.
Emirates had about a 30% share of San Francisco – Bangalore traffic, followed by Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon, Singapore Airlines, Air India, and Lufthansa. Air India had an estimated 10%.
Fellow Star Alliance member United will join Air India on the route from 6 May, while American will start Seattle – Bangalore from 30 October.
Latest route launches (A – Z by airline name)
Tampa Airport welcomed back Copa from Panama City on 8 January after a period of eight months.
This carrier is currently operating the route twice-weekly using B737-800s, but it’ll return to once-daily from the end of May. Pre-coronavirus, both B737-700s and -800s were scheduled, OAG data shows.
Copa is the only carrier on the route, which began in 2013. In pre-coronavirus 2019, the airline had almost 73,000 seats on it. Frequency varied from three-weekly to seven.
Of course, this route revolves around connectivity over Panama City. Booking data obtained via OAG Traffic Analyser shows that around 78% of passengers transited. Colombia was by far the single-largest country market, with over twice as many passengers as second-placed Ecuador.
On a city-pair basis, however, the top-five O&Ds were Tampa to Bogota, San Jose (Costa Rica), Cali, Quito, Lima, Guayaquil, Caracas, Medellín, Sao Paulo, and Pereira.
India’s Star Air began Tirupati to Kalaburagi on 11 January.
The 492-kilometre service is operated four-weekly using Embraer 145s.
Kalaburagi is one of two non-stop routes Star Air operates from Tirupati, alongside Hubli that is also four-weekly.
The regional carrier has two other non-stop routes from Kalaburagi: Bangalore (daily) and Delhi Hindon (three-weekly). With a block time of two hours and twenty minutes, the latter route – at 1,263 kilometres – is one of Star Air’s longest.
Kalabuargi, in south-central India, first received service in 2020.