United to operate 50+ repatriation flights between India and USA in August 2020 (Canadians also welcome!)

At the speed at which Air India has been operating repatriation flights from/to the USA, the US Department of Transport had given Air India a rap on the knuckles earlier on, stating that Air India offering over 50% of their schedule was circumventing the spirit of repatriation flights and instead became a monopoly operation. This US DoT circular was then recalled, and Air India announced about 180 flights between India and the US. These were subsequently cut down to 80 or so flights. Now, there are more United Airlines Flights to India that are being put in place.

The Indian borders are closed till July 31, 2020, for now so regular commercial flights are not possible at the moment from India for any airline. New Government guidelines indicate this ban will be extended in the coming days.

Which means the only way to operate to India is via cargo flights or via charters. A third way is to do it via repatriation flights. In July, United operated about 20 flights between India and the USA.

It has now come to be known that United Airlines flights to India will be operating 57 flights each way in August 2020.

  • UA801 between Newark & Delhi between August 1 – September 1, 2020
  • UA802 between Delhi & Newark between August 1 – August 31, 2020
  • UA867 between San Francisco & Delhi three times a week between August 1 – August 31, 2020
  • UA868 between Delhi & San Francisco three times a week between August 3 – September 2, 2020
  • UA830 between Mumbai & Newark three times a week between August 2 – August 3, 2020

Here is the notice that United sent out to their trade partners in India.

United Airlines flights to India

United’s flights are all loaded in the systems and in the GDS as well. So you can use United.Com, MakeMyTrip.com, Yatra.com or your local travel agent or American Express Travel and so on to book the tickets for you.

Who can travel on these flights?

  • Inbound flights to India: Both Indian and foreign airlines while operating inbound flights into India can carry the following passengers:
    • stranded Indian nationals
    • foreigners (including diplomats and OCI cardholders), who are eligible to enter India as per Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)  guidelines dated 30.06.2020.
  • Outbound flights from India: While operating outbound flights from India, both Indian and foreign airlines are permitted to carry the following passengers:
    • Indian nationals who are permitted to travel abroad as per MHA guidelines dated 01.07.2020 and holding valid US visas.
    • US citizens, legal permanent residents, and foreign nationals holding valid US visas.

Also, you can buy connections from other parts of India to Delhi on the same ticket as well. Just put your city of origin. For instance, Mumbai-Newark shows me the ability to book Vistara to Delhi and then onwards on United.

If you are still wondering how to reach the USA, these flights are a good option. Also, those who want to fly to Canada can also connect in the US for a further flight into Canada with Air Canada or United. Would this new opportunity to fly United be helpful to you to get to the USA or Canada?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. For inbound travel from the US to India for Indian Passport Holders they have to register in the Indian Consulate website which is in their Demographic, for e.g. in New York Washington Chicago and San Francisco people originating in nearby states have to register in the respective mission.

    In the registration form which the Indian Consulate emails to you upon request under flight detail only Air India flights are listed there is no option to select United flights.

    When I pointed out to the Chicago Indian Consulate about this they just replied

    For taking any flight to India, all individuals are required to register on https://repat.videshapps.gov.in/regis

    I checked with United call centre in India they said no registration is required if flying United to India for Indian Passport Holders.

    A bit confused by different replies from the Indian Counsel and United.

    If anyone has recently flown on United flights to India can reply pls with information whether any registration is required?

  2. The MHA guidelines dated 1/7/2020 for Indian Nationals who wish to travel abroad says anyone holding a valid visa other than for tourism are allowed to travel abroad.

    In case of B1/B2 visa which is valid for Business / Tourism/Family visit, will a passenger holding this visa be allowed to travel in these United flights ?

  3. Hello Ajay! Is this a confirmed news or just a speculation? MHA has not announced any such news about United able to operate after July 31.

  4. You mentioned in your article “ stranded Indian nationals” but there’s nothing like that written in the UA notice. Anyone holding an Indian passport can travel according to the notice.

    • @Gaurav, I’ve written what the Indian Ministry has said, not what UA has said. Left both there so that people can determine on their own which situation helps them.

      • Yeah. In case of vande Bharat they used the word “stranded”. There was a procedure to apply on the embassy’s website and what not. It’s not the case with UA. I confirmed with the airline.

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