Just last week, we wrote about the speculation that Delta will be launching direct flights to India, and today came the confirmation.
In a press release issued by Delta, they have signaled their intent to serve Mumbai nonstop from the USA in 2019. I will knock off the political gibberish to give you the crux of the presser.
Delta Air Lines will begin nonstop flights between the United States and Mumbai, India, next year, linking the U.S. with one of its strongest trading partners.
The service is subject to government approval; full schedule details will be announced later this year.
Delta also intends to expand its existing codeshare relationship with partner Jet Airways to provide seamless connections to other destinations within India, subject to government approvals.
While it is still not clear about which city will Delta fly into Mumbai from, it could be from Atlanta or New York. New York already has a couple of non-stop flights to Mumbai, operated by United and Air India. Air India operates from Newark & New York JFK both using a 777, with the JFK flight hopping via Delhi.
Both Atlanta and New York are possible with the Boeing 777-200LR or the Airbus A350-900 for Delta. And not just that, Delta could pull a rabbit out of the hat and also perhaps do an LAX-BOM flight as well. However, given Delta’s biggest hub is in Atlanta, I’d guess that is the most significant probability for the airline.
Delta inherited the route from Northwest and used to fly to Mumbai through 2016, via Amsterdam. They closed this route blaming the middle east carriers for making it uncompetitive for them. Recently with their close cooperation with Jet Airways, this new route might become a possibility for the airline going forward, with 9W supplying traffic into the Mumbai hub.
However, the other part of the story they miss out on conveniently is the fact that now they have a product which will perhaps be half as competitive as compared to the ME3 and all the other airlines who want to get traffic to India via their hubs in the Middle East or Europe and so on.
For years, Jet Airways was my preferred carrier to take me to JFK, and I am also hopeful that if this route works out, perhaps Jet Airways would start a flight as well to the USA with their densified Boeing 777 aircraft without the first class seats.
What do you think about the new route announcement from Delta? Would you fly them on this route?