While India's national carrier introduced non-stop flights from three US destinations - Newark, New York and Chicago - last year, Toronto was put on the non-stop route Sunday. The 14-hour, non-stop flight will depart from Toronto's Pearson International Airport at 11.50 a.m. and arrive in Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport at 11.45 am the next day.
Previously, four Toronto-Amritsar flights and three Toronto-Delhi flights used to stop over in London for over two hours.
"With Air India introducing the phenomenal Boeing 777-300ER planes and making New Delhi as its international hub, introduction of non-stop flights from Canada is part of new policies,'' an Air Indian representative in Toronto told IANS Monday.
From Delhi's new terminal, which will serve as Air India's new hub, passengers from Canada will have connecting flights to major Indian cities, including Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata.
"Whereas previously passengers from Canada had connections to only two Indian cities (Delhi and Amritsar), now they will have connections to many major cities in the country. Their baggage will be checked in Toronto and quickly shifted to connecting flights in Delhi so that they reach their onward destination quickly,'' the representative said.
Air India expects a jump in its traffic from Canada because of the convenient departure and arrival time of its non-stop flights.
The introduction of daily non-flights to India is another milestone for the national carrier which resumed its Canadian operations in 2005 after a break of two decades.
Air India had suspended its flights to Canada in June 1985 after the bombing of the Kanishka Flights 182 from Montreal to Delhi.
The bombing, which was plotted by Khalistani militants who wanted to avenge the Indian army action at the Golden Temple to flush out Bhindranwale and his men, killed all 329 passengers on board.
Jet Airways is another Indian carrier which operates Toronto-Delhi flights via its European hub at Brussels.