A few months ago I was at Washington Dulles (IAD) airport and took this picture of an Air India 777. Air India made a big deal of extending their New Delhi (DEL) to New York (JFK) flight to Washington, DC (IAD). This was exciting for me as this was the first single aircraft route from Washington DC area to India, a trip I make at least once a year. With Air India planning to join Star Alliance, I was even more excited, as we could now earn and redeem my United miles on this flight.
Unfortunately, in typical Air India fashion, both the promise of joining Star Alliance and that of a single aircraft flight from Washington, DC to India seems to be uncertain.
This past week, as I was waiting for my flight at the airport, I did what I usually do when waiting for an early morning flight, I pulled out my India phone card and called my brother back home. The mystery of Air India flying to IAD came up as I discussed my next visit to India. Well, at the moment, there is no such flight. During the volcanic ash problems, Air India cancelled the JFK-IAD segment of the flight. There was also talk that Air India will start a new route that would go – New Delhi – Milan – Washington Dulles (DEL-MXP-IAD), again a single aircraft operation, but that never materialized either.
So, in the meanwhile, the Air India sign remains on the approach roads to IAD airport as a lonely reminder to flights I could have taken. Single aircraft trips to India still remain a dream for me. Maybe I should drive over there and take a picture of the sign before they remove it. I am sure this was the shortest time an airline ever flew to Washington Dulles.