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Petition for direct flight to India gaining traction in North Texas

by Staff

NORTH TEXAS – Venkat Mulukutla lives in Frisco and only rarely sees his family back home in Hyderabad, India. 

“Every two years I visit them,” he said. 

He attributes this to the arduous journey required to get there, typically involving two to three layovers and over 20-hour travel days. 

He claims it’s a problem for many who have migrated here.

“They are very long days,” he said.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Texas’ Asian Indian population has exploded in the last several years, ranking as the second most populated state in the nation. 

The latest proof is the Major League Cricket stadium that just opened last year in Grand Prairie, which has hosted sold-out crowds. 

Venkat said he believes many would benefit from direct flights home.

That’s why it’s hard to believe that Air India, an airline that boasts to be the flag carrier of the country with the largest international network, doesn’t fly out of DFW Airport. 

“Air India needs to look at the population and operate their airline accordingly,” he said.

For context, Air India offers direct flights from New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. 

In the case of a DFW customer, they could connect to an Air India flight via any of those stops. 

But more likely, they would also have to take a stop in Europe or Dubai before finally arriving in India.

Venkat tested his theory with an online petition for Air India to add a direct flight from Dallas to Hyderabad, and so far, a few thousand have signed.

Hyderabad’s airport, Rajiv Gandhi International, is the second-fastest-growing in India, while DFW Airport has seen similar growth.

So, why not connect the two? Both Air India and DFW Airport officials had no comment.

Other folks we spoke to at Dallas-Fort Worth’s international terminal agree it would be beneficial to the population. 

“Yes, of course. We have so many older people traveling, and there are language barriers,” said Haresh Patel.

Our research shows DFW to Hyderabad is roughly 8,900 miles, about the same as DFW to Melbourne. Dallas to Melbourne is DFW’s longest regularly scheduled commercial flight. 

Speculation has grown online that Air India plans to expand its operations into DFW sometime this year, though the company would not confirm.

And though the petition is for this specific flight route, Venkat says he’d just be happy if Air India flew out of Dallas-Fort Worth at all.

He hopes more signatures can show Air India just how many people in North Texas care. 

“This is something that people have in their hearts, in the Indian population around this town,” he said.

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