Home Airlines Delta airlines to relaunch non-stop US-Mumbai in 2019

Delta airlines to relaunch non-stop US-Mumbai in 2019

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Delta Air Lines plans to resume nonstop flights between the US and Mumbai in 2019, says the Atlanta-based carrier

Delta cited the recent Open Skies agreements between the US and governments of UAE and Qatar as “the framework … to move forward with service to India, a market long impacted by government-subsidized Middle East airlines.”

The airline did not reveal which of its US hubs would serve the route, saying full schedule details will come later this year.

The relaunch of the route will come a decade after Delta ended its previous US-Mumbai service, which flew from Hartsfield-Atlanta (ATL) and New York JFK international airports.

Delta said it had been forced to exit the market after “subsidized state-owned airlines made service economically unviable.” Gulf carriers’ hubs are strategically positioned to offer frequent connections to India and Asia.

Chicago-based United Airlines is the only US carrier now offering nonstop flights between the US and India, serving Delhi and Mumbai from New York-Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark, New Jersey.

Delta’s move to reopen India service comes after an apparent settlement of the three-year battle pitting US carriers American Airlines, Delta and United against the major Gulf carriers Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline, in which the US carriers accused the Gulf carriers of breaching Open Skies agreements because of their alleged reliance on government subsidies.

In January, the government of Qatar agreed to open the financial books of its flag carrier and refrain from operating fifth freedom flights to the US. And in May, the US and the UAE announced the two major carriers Emirates and Etihad would offer complete financial transparency, while not necessarily committing to halting further fifth freedom flights.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the new flights fit in with Delta’s vision to expand its international reach and thanked US President Donald Trump “for taking real action to enforce our Open Skies trade deals, which made this new service possible.”

Additionally, Delta said it intends to expand its codeshare agreement with Mumbai-based Jet Airways to enable connections to other destinations within India, subject to government approvals.

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