New Delhi: Air India announced a nonstop flight from New Delhi to San Francisco which would start from December 2, the only link between India and the west coast of America. AI made the announcement when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Silicon Valley. The news was planned to be announced during PM Modi’s visit to the west coast.
Air India in a statement said, “San Francisco will become Air India’s fourth destination in the United States. Air India operates daily non-stop flights to New York (JFK), Newark (EWR) and Chicago (ORD).”
The new flight will make travel seamless for the large Indian community in the valley.
“Passengers from seven cities, all IT hubs, in India i.e Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Pune will have seamless connections to the flight from Delhi. Likewise, the return flight from San Francisco will provide onward connections to nine cities i.e. Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bhubaneswar,” AI said.
The flight will operate for three days a week- Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. It will have a convenient early morning departure and arrival. The flight will offer a 3-cabin configuration, with 8 seats in First Class, 35 seats in Business Class and 195 seats in Economy Class.
India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.
Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.
The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.
“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”
Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.
Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”
The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.
The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.
A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.
Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.
The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.