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. Since then, Air India has announced more repatriation flights before the deadline of the implementation of the US-DOT circular comes into force.
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. 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. Recently, United announced three repatriation flights between Delhi and Newark, to be operated on July 10, 12 and 15, 2020. For these flights, United is not allowed to bring passengers from the USA to India but can take passengers from India to the USA.
However, the pressure from the US DOT seems to be working. It has now come to be known that United will be operating 20 flights from India to the USA by the end of July 2020.
- UA783 between Delhi & Newark on July 10/12/15 (77W operated)
- UA802 between Delhi & Newark between July 18 – August 1 (789 operated)
- UA868 between Delhi & San Francisco on July 20/22/25
Here is the notice that United just sent out to their trade partners in India.
Unlike Air India’s flights, which need an agent to covertly book the tickets for you and charge a large sum of money, 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.
Also, the tickets are vastly cheaper than Air India flights. Have a look at the inventory available. Don’t look at the flights after August 1, 2020, for now.
Looking at the competition Air India also dropped their prices on these repatriation flights.
Remember, these flights are only going to be able to take passengers from India to the USA, and not from the USA to India. 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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