United suspends flights to India amidst airspace closures

Due to Pakistan airspace closure, flight operations are severely affected especially Delhi – USA and Delhi – Europe. On April 5, 2019, United decided to temporarily suspend its Delhi – Newark flight till April 17, 2019, in anticipation that the Pakistan airspace would open up by then. But due to prolonged delay, United pushed back the relaunch to July 2019. With the prolonged closure of Pakistan airspace, United has now pushed back the relaunch to August 1, 2019.

Amidst the growing tensions between Iran and the USA, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S.-registered aircraft from operating over the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Following this, currently, the sole non-stop flight to India operated by United, UA 48/49 Newark-Mumbai which flies directly over Iran has been cancelled. While we do not know how long the suspension is in place, United, for now, has cancelled UA 48/49 till June 26, 2019.

united mumbai to newark

United’s Mumbai-Newark flight cancellation

According to United,

Given current events in Iran, United has conducted a thorough safety and security review of our India service through Iranian airspace and decided to suspend our service between New York/Newark and India (Mumbai) beginning this evening. UA48 (New York/Newark – Mumbai) has been cancelled. We are contacting our customers to provide this update and assist those who may need rebooking options. We continue to explore all our options and remain in close contact with relevant government authorities in order to provide our customers with the most efficient travel experience under these circumstances.

The Boeing 777-300ER (N2331U) which flew UA 48 from Newark to Mumbai on June 19, 2019, will take a longer routing back home. According to Flight Radar, N2331U will fly from Mumbai to Honolulu on June 22, 2019.

united mumbai to newark

UA 48 Mumbai to Newark

As of now, no US-based airline is operating non-stop flights to India. Only Air India is operating non-stop flights on the India – USA sector. Air India’s flight operations to the USA are also severely affected due to prolonged Pakistan airspace closure with Delhi – Chicago flights making a technical stop in Stockholm and Delhi – New York JFK flights making a technical stop in Vienna. Air India’s Mumbai-Newark and Delhi – San Francisco are operating a longer non-stop route. The non-stop Delhi – Washington flight sometimes makes a technical stop at Mumbai. Air India flights aren’t affected by FAA’s NOTAM.

Are you affected by the flight cancellations due to airspace closures?


  1. Per news reports, a number of European carriers have adjusted their flight paths as well, to avoid Iranian and Gulf airspace. Geopolitical tensions affect a number of airlines and routes, not just to India but also to Southeast Asia.

  2. I am Platinum on UA. Supposed to fly on UA48 on June 26. United says the flight is not cancelled and there are no waivers so I have to pay to switch to Lufthansa or another carrier. Let’s see if a conversation with a supervisor helps.

    • HUCA certainly helped. They booked me on Lufthansa in the same category (Premium Economy). One more stop but could be worse.

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