United had earlier issued a media advisory to make a historic announcement today. As we speculated, one of the routes will come to fruition. Earlier this year, for the first time in 8 years, United expanded capacity in the Indian market with the introduction of Boeing 77W on Mumbai to Newark route.
Today, United announced a slew of new routes out of San Francisco. United already has a dominating presence at San Francisco, and they are making sure it stays the same. United will launch the following routes in the coming days while adding capacity on other routes.
- Daily New Delhi to San Francisco
- Daily Melbourne to San Francisco
- 2x Daily Toronto to San Francisco
- Daily Amsterdam to San Francisco
- Second Daily to Seoul to San Francisco
- Year-round Tahiti to San Francisco
- Year-round Auckland to San Francisco
New Delhi to San Francisco route
United will operate a seasonal daily service between Delhi and San Francisco next year onwards. The first flight is scheduled to take off on December 5, 2019. The route will be operated by a premium heavy Boeing 787-9. United’s Boeing 789s features 48 Business Class seats, 88 Economy Plus seats and 116 Economy seats.
The Boeing 787-9 doesn’t feature the new Polaris business class seats yet. Instead, it has the BE Aerospace Diamond seats. The Economy class is in a 3-3-3 layout. United does have 13 Boeing 787-9 on order to be delivered in 2020 which may feature the new Polaris Business class seats.
UA104 SFO1915-0045(+2)DEL 789
UA105 DEL0400-0610SFO 789
Both AI173 AND UA105 will depart New Delhi at the same time for San Fransisco.
The Delhi/San Francisco route has witnessed significant growth in recent years. Delhi San Francisco Air India flights were launched to operate three times a week in December 2015 and then doubled to 6 times a week in November 2016. Air India further increased it to nine times a week in March 2018.
Now with United’s new daily frequency, Star Alliance carriers will have 16 weekly frequencies on New Delhi to San Francisco route. This will be the largest India to USA nonstop route regarding frequencies. This is impressive for a route that witnessed it’s first flight just three years back. The icing on the cake would be a synergy between Air India and United Airlines. United does not coordinate with Air India at the moment.
Wonder when will we hear from Delta Airlines who were supposed to announce a new non-stop flight to India in 2019. And let’s see how American Airlines reacts to this announcement.
The last time Air India added capacity on New Delhi to San Francisco, we witnessed Etihad Airways pulling out of Abu Dhabi / San Francisco route completely. With this new capacity addition, will there be any impact on Etihad’s neighbour(s)? Let’s see if they upgrade the New Delhi to Newark route to a Polaris equipped 77E shortly.
United’s new daily flight indicates the size of their ambition for India. They currently have daily flights from Newark to Mumbai and New Delhi. The new route is presently seasonal but we may see it upgraded to year-round at a later stage. Only Star Alliance carriers operate nonstop flights between India and USA.
Are you excited for New Delhi to San Fransisco on United? Would you switch from Air India in that case?