Air India (AI, Delhi International) will reduce the frequency of its flights to New York Newark and San Francisco for the next two the three months due to a shortage of B777-rated pilots, according to CEO Campbell Wilson.

The airline will suspend 3x weekly flights to each of the two destinations. The ch-aviation schedules module shows that it currently flies to Newark 3x weekly from each of Delhi International and Mumbai International, and to San Francisco 10x weekly from Delhi, 4x weekly from Mumbai, and 3x weekly from Bengaluru International.

While Wilson did not elaborate on the details of the cuts, The Hindustan Times reported that the airline would suspend the Delhi-Newark route through April 29 and part of the Delhi-San Francisco rotations through the end of June. Cuts will also affect the daily Mumbai-New York JFK route in May 2023.

"We are reducing frequencies on routes that won't see any impact on passengers as they will be accommodated on other flights," he said.

Air India's US network also comprises services to Chicago O'Hare and Washington Dulles, which will not be affected by the cuts.

Wilson explained that the airline was currently training around 100 new Indian pilots and a further 140 foreign pilots for the B777s, but for the time being it could not operate the type with full utilisation. The carrier uses B777-200(LR)s on services to San Francisco and from Mumbai to JFK, while the other flights to the United States are operated with B777-300(ER)s (except the Delhi-Washington route, served with B787-8s).

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that Air India operates five B777-200(LR)s and thirteen -300(ER)s.

Wilson said the crew shortage would also force the airline to operate some of its Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Dubai International routes with A320-200s instead of the usual B787-8s.