Hyderabad: The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) to start the direct flights to the USA from 15 January.
Air India, the national carrier, will be starting its direct, non-stop flight between Hyderabad and Chicago early next year. The Airline would be operating with Boeing 777-200 aircraft, with the seat capacity of 238 (8 First Class, 35 Business Class, 195 Economy Class).
Under the Air Transport Bubble arrangement, airlines like British Airways have resumed operations connecting Hyderabad to the UK and beyond; while Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia have resumed their services connecting Hyderabad with various destinations in the United Arab Emirates. Qatar Airways has also reconnected Hyderabad with Doha, the capital city of Qatar.
Hyderabad-USA-Hyderabad has been the largest unserved passenger Origin & Destination (O&D) market between India and the US, with a potential of over 700,000 passengers annually. Hyderabad is a gateway to South & Central India, and a preferred and the largest transit hub. It offers convenient proximity for passengers originating from the nearby cities of Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar, Rajahmundry, Bhopal, and Tirupati among others pushing an additional demand of approximately 220,000 passengers annually.
"The launch of this route brings two destinations closer for all our passengers who have been waiting eagerly for a direct flight from Hyderabad to the USA. Hyderabad International Airport has been always committed to connecting the best destinations to cater to passenger demands. We are constantly working on linking more cities domestic and international with a focus on high standards of safety to serve our passengers," said Mr Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd.
"A direct connectivity to the US from Hyderabad was long due and is a much deserving offering from Air India to the corporate community from the regions. The First Class and Business class offerings of Air India will surely be an experience fitting the customers valuing high taste," said the Airport Authority.
The Telugu diaspora from the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh regions is one of the fastest-growing communities in the US. As per some estimates, every 4th student travelling abroad for studies from India is from the Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. India is the 2nd largest source country for foreign students coming to the USA each year.
Also, Hyderabad is known as the Pharma Capital of India and a Vaccine Manufacturing Hub of India. Now direct connectivity to the USA would provide the much-needed impetus to its Pharma industry for Air Cargo uplift. The current annual air cargo tonnage in the Hyderabad-USA market segment is pegged at 22,000 metric tons and growing at 8% annually. This flight could play an important role in providing the logistic support to transport COVID vaccines between the two regions.