Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Ashwani Lohani on Monday termed the initiative taken by the national carrier to offer non-stop flights between India and North America using the existing North Polar routes for commercial air operations as "tremendous" and "unparalleled".
"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 USA. The passengers of the first flight would be given a commemorative certificate as a remembrance of this historic flight," Lohani said in a statement.
The air operations are set to start from August 15.
Earlier today, a statement from Air India read, "Air India is in a unique position to offer non-stop flights between India and North America. In our constant endeavor 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."
The statement added, "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 inaugural revenue flight over the polar region on August 15 will be piloted by Captain Rajneesh Sharma and Captain Digvijay Singh.
The required permissions have been obtained from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States for the flight.
The release also stated about expected savings and reduction in carbon emissions per flight due to airlines taking the route above the North Pole.
"The fuel savings are expected to be in the region of 2000 kg to 7000 kg on these routes with the resultant decrease in carbon emission of 6000 kg to 21000 kg, per flight. This is part of the initiatives of the Fuel Conservation Committee set up by the Director Operations," it read.
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