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A glimpse of Air India records

August 17
21:50 2012

CHICAGO: There was a time in the 1950s when it took three days to reach India from USA even by air. The airlines which did the journey in 2 ½ days advertised it very heavily till Air India came on the scene in 1960 with JFK operations.
In that era, flying the 707s, Air India set flying record of under 8 hours Lon-Bom. This was unbroken for a decade to come.
Air India started its journey in 1932 in the hands of J.R.D. Tata, who is fondly referred to as the father of Indian aviation. In the first year of full operations Tata Airlines flew 160,000 miles, carried 155 passengers and 10.71 tons of mail.
Today they fly over 13 million passengers and transport 174,000 tons.
An all first class express service to London was mounted in 1935. Soon “Slumberettes” were introduced on this flight.
In 1962 Air India was the first all Jet fleet airline with Boeing 707-437.
Continuing this legacy Air India has ordered advanced B777s and B787s completing modernizing its fleet for international operations.
New York was connected as early as 1960, Chicago in 1996, while Los Angeles came online in 2004 and Washington in 2009. With the planned induction of 787s west coast operation is a distinct possibility in the near future, as is operations to Australia from India.
From time to time, Air India is required to carry out evacuation of Indian sub-continent nationals due to geo-political developments with recent ones in North Africa, and major ones in the Middle East. Guinness Book of World Record registers Air India rescue of 111,710 people in 59 days of operation as the largest civilian evacuation.
Air India was the official carrier for the XIX Commonwealth Games held at Delhi in 2010. Air India has 32 Arjuna Awards, 5 Padmashris and 2 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees on its rolls, besides International cricketing, hockey, chess, shooting, badminton and other discipline stars.
On International Womens’ Day, March 8, 2010 Air India’s ultra long haul, New York non-stop flight was operated entirely by a women crew complement. On the same day 21 other flights elsewhere in Air India network had the same distinguishing character as the New York operation.
This is merely a glimpse of the varied facets of Air India many of which stay undiscovered by the people, industry and media.
All point to the unity, diversity and social progress of the Indian Diaspora spread across the world.
The unique sub-continent of India with its diverse ethnicity, cultures, religion, history, language and cuisines where the modern blends gracefully with the traditional. This needs to be experienced even by the Indian Diaspora themselves. And where else to begin but embarking on a journey with Air India.

India Post News Service

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