New Delhi: Air India has stepped up its international expansion plans to the US, Europe and will debut in Kenya this year, a top executive has said.

“To Washington from 7th July, Stockholm from 15th August and Los Angeles from 1st September. Air India spreads its wings far and wide," Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani said in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning. This will be followed by Tel Aviv in Israel, Dallas in the US and Nairobi in Kenya sometime later in 2017 itself, he said.

The Air India flight to Kenya will be the first in recent years. The country hosts a sizeable Indian origin population and has strong trade ties with India.

The airline already connects Chicago, New York, Newark and San Francisco with direct flights, some of the longest in the world at over 15 hours. The Washington flights will be on Boeing 777 planes.

Over the past five years, the airline has expanded its network by launching new flights to Madrid, Rome, Milan and Vienna beyond its traditional European destinations of London and Frankfurt. It will also launch new flights from Delhi, Chandigarh and Kolkata, to Bangkok in May.

Air India, with a fleet of 140 planes, controls nearly 15% of the domestic market and at 17% has the single largest share of international traffic into and out of India.

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