Delta Air Lines has announced that it will begin nonstop flights between the United States and Mumbai, India in 2019. It is Delta’s first direct flight to India in over a decade.
The announcement comes after an agreement between the governments of the US, the UAE, and Qatar to address government subsidies given to state-owned airlines in the latter two countries. The agreement will provide US carriers like Delta with the option of reentering markets (such as India) where competition from heavily subsidized competitors made service economically unviable.
Delta is the first US carrier to announce direct flights to the region after the agreement was made.
“It is exciting to be able to announce Delta’s return to India from the U.S. as part of our vision to expand Delta’s reach internationally,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “We are thankful to the president for taking real action to enforce our Open Skies trade deals, which made this new service possible. We are looking forward to providing customers in the U.S. and India with Delta’s famously reliable, customer-focused service operated by the best employees in the industry.”
Flights will depart from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Before dropping out of India last time, Delta flew to Mumbai from these two coastal cities.
Delta has also announced plans to expand its codeshare agreement with Jet Airways to make further connections from the US to India seamless. The expansion is pending government approval. More details will be released in coming months.
The service is still subject to approval by government officials. A schedule will be released later this year.
With the service, Delta will become the second US airline to fly nonstop from the US to India. Air India currently serves multiple US destinations, and United connects Newark and Mumbai. The airline currently flies to the country through partnerships with other international airlines.
Featured image from Delta Air Lines