Route Evolution 1981- till date

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Air India First Flight Cover Bombay Sharjah Bombay 10 March 1981

Type of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.

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On 10th March 1981 Air India inaugurated its first flight to Sharjah, UAE.

Post & Telegraphs dept. issued a cover for the same. The airmail stamp affixed is also showing an Air India Flight.

The return flight Sharjah to Bombay was also on the same day.

The return cover shows on the top left The Souk al-Markazi (Central Market), popularly known as the Blue Souk, is the main shopping hub and one of the most impressive landmarks of Sharjah. The building has been designed by the British architects Michael Lyle & Partners, based on the ideas and guidance of the Ruler of Sharjah, HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, and was completed in 1978. 

The bottom left shows Maharajah riding a Camel and Gateway Of India, Bombay.

Air India First Flight Cover Bombay Amritsar Birmingham  03 January 1982

Type of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.

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On 3rd January 1982 Air India inaugurated its first flight to Birmingham in U.K. from Amritsar.

The cover shows the Golden Temple of Amritsar on the left and the Building named Rotunda, Birmingham next to it.

 The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib ("abode of God") or Darbar Sahib  is a Gurdwara located in the city of AmritsarPunjab, India. It is the holiest Gurdwara and the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism

The Rotunda is a cylindrical highrise building in BirminghamEngland. The Grade II listed building is 81 metres (266 ft) tall and was completed in 1965 as an office block at a cost of £1 million during the post-war rebuilding of the Bull Ring, The Bull Ring is a major commercial area of central Birmingham. It has been an important feature of Birmingham since the Middle Ages, when its market was first held.

Air India First Flight Cover Bombay Montreal 02 October 1982

Type of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.

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On 2nd October 1982 Air India inaugurated its first flight to Montreal Canada from Bombay.

The cover shows Maharajah rising from the center of the Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Canada, located at Olympic Park in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district of Montreal. Built in the mid-1970s as the main venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics, it is nicknamed "The Big O".

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Example's of a private cover, with a first day cancel, but did not fly the route.

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Re-enactment of the first flight of 1932 on 15 October 1982

Type of Aircraft:  De Havilland DH85

Registration Mark: VT-AKH

Pilot: JRD Tata

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In October 1982, on the first flight’s 50th anniversary, JRD commemorated the occasion by flying solo from Karachi to Mumbai in a Leopard Moth plane. He carried a mailbag with messages from the president of Pakistan to the president of India, and from the mayor of Karachi to the mayor of Mumbai.

JRD had re-enacted the famous event on its 30th anniversary in 1962.

Special souvenir issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary and
re-enactment of the historic first flight by JRD Tata

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A JRD Tata postal commemorative presented by Voltas - a Tata promoted Company.

50 Years of the First Flight Karachi Bombay 1932- 1982  on
15 October 1982

Pakistan Post cover with Pakistan Stamps

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Pakistan Post issued a cover to commemorate 50 years of Civil Aviation. Here the cover and stamps are both of Pakistan, cancelled at Karachi GPO.

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50 Years of the First Flight Karachi Bombay 1932- 1982  on
15 October 1982

Indian Post cover with Pakistan Stamps

Here is a cover issued by India post & Telegraphs with Pakistan Stamps and cancelled at Karachi GPO.

50 Years of the First Flight Karachi Bombay 1932- 1982  on
15 October 1982

Indian Post cover with Indian Stamps

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Here is the cover issued by Indian Post & Telegraphs with a special stamp showing JRD Tata standing next to a Puss Moth in 1932.

Also cancelled at Ahemdabad and Bombay the route JRD Tata took in 1932.

Air India First Flight Cover Bombay Sanaa on 02 April 1983

Type Of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet

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On 2nd April 1983 Air India inaugurated it first flight to Sanaa, Yemen from Bombay.

The Maharajah is seen here playing the Yemeni Oud.

 ‘The oud’ is a musical instrument used in the Middle East and North Africa. Its name was derived from the Arabic word عُوْد ‘a piece of wood’ as it is made of wood. Although it is an ancient instrument, it is still very popular in many countries. In Yemen, a piece of music without oud is not music. 

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Its not an error, according to a source the covers were kept in a basement in the Nariman point Air-India building, where it got water soaked, some of the colors apparently got washed off to give this effect.

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Example of a private cover, with a first day cancel, but did not fly the route.

Air India First Flight Cover Bombay Toronto on 19 January 1985

Type Of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet

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On 19th January 1983, Air India inaugurated its first flight to Toronto from Mumbai.

The Maharajah is shown here waving both Indian and the Canadian flag standing on top of the lobby of City Hall in Toronto.

The Toronto City Hall, or New City Hall, is the seat of the municipal government of TorontoOntario, Canada, and one of the city's most distinctive landmarks. The design of City Hall features two curved towers that rise from differing heights, and a public square featuring a reflecting pool.

Good Will Air Mail Cover Adelaide Delhi on 17 January 1989 by Air India

Type Of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet

Type 1 cancel

On 17th Jan 1989 Australian Air Mail Society arranged for souvenir "Goodwill Covers" designed by E.W. Roberts, to be flown to India 89 World stamp Exhibition in New Delhi. Bottom covers is Signed by the artist, postmarked Adelaide and India 89.

The covers shows Safdarjung 's tomb in New Delhi and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.

Type 2 cancel

Air India First Flight Cover Fujairah Bombay on 26 March 1990

Type 3 cancel

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26th March 1990 Fujairah Bombay

Air India First Non-Stop Flight Cover New York - Delhi on 14 March 1993

Type Of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet

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On 14th August 1993 Air India inaugurated its Historic Non-stop flight from USA to Delhi.

Seen here are 2 different cancellations. Top one is the normal Comet cancel, bottom one is a rare rubber cancel in Voilet

Air India First Flight Cover Bombay Durban Johannesburg on 02 October 1993

Type Of Aircraft: Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet

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On 2nd January 1993 Air India inaugurated its first flight to Johannesburg via Durban.

JOHANNESBURG -known as the "ostrich capital of the world." The Maharajah is seen here Clambering onto an ostrich for a ride and chasing an Impala a medium sized Antelope.

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Shown here is a rare date cancel on the return flight from the Johannesburg Airport whose name then was Jan Smuts Airport, now it is named Oliver Tambo. 

Air India First Flight Cover Mumbai Seoul Mumbai on 04 July 1997

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On 4th July 1997 Air India inaugurated its first flight to Seoul, South Korea. The return flight was not stamped but a special flight cachet was applied.

Air India First Flight Cover Mumbai Delhi Bangkok Shanghai on
11 December 2003

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On 11 December 2003 Air India Inaugurated it first Flight to Shanghai via Bangkok, Delhi from Mumbai.

The Maharajah is seen here as a Chinese holding a folding fan

Aircraft used: Boeing 787 Dreamliner,

Flight number: AI348.

Departed: 07:55am IST, Landed:20:20 Shanghai time.

Total duration of flight: 15hrs 55 minutes with 2 stopovers

Air India First Flight Cover Mumbai Frankfurt Los-Angeles on
11 June 2004

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On 11th June 2004, Air India inaugurated its first flight to Los Angeles the home of Hollywood from Mumbai via Frankfurt.

The Maharajah is seen here holding a movie camera shooting a movie in Hollywood.

Air India First Flight Cover Mumbai Turin on 30 January 2006

Turin Winter Olympics Games - 30 January

2006 Air India flight for the Olympic Team.

Only 5 flown from this Gentleman.

Air India First Flight Cover Mumbai New-York on 01 August 2007

Type Of Aircraft: Boeing 777 -200 LR

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On 1st August 2007, Air India inaugurated its first flight Nonstop flight to New York using Boeing 777-200LR.

Also shown here is the return cover from New York, Jamaica post Office.

Air India First Flight Cover Mumbai Beijing on 29 July 2008

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On 29th July 2008, Air India sent an Olympic team of India flight to Beijing Olympics

Air India First Flight Cover Coimbatore Delhi on 01 December 2018

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Air India recently introduced a non stop flight from Coimbatore, the "Manchester of South India" to National capital New Delhi on 1st December of 2018.  To commemorate this, Coimbatore postal circle issued a First flight Cover.

 

Marudamalai Murugal temple - Coimbatore and India Gate - Delhi, two prominent attractions of the two cities are  depicted on the cover.