Delta Air Lines will begin nonstop flights between the United States and Mumbai in 2019, the US airline announced on Thursday. Delta said it plans to expand its existing code share existing codeshare relationship with partner Jet Airways to provide seamless connections to other destinations within India.
At present Air India and United operate non stop flights from Mumbai to Newark. Delta has not indicated the point of origin in US in its announcement.
This move allows Delta and its partner airline Jet Airways to expand its traffic on India-US route. Currently, Jet Airways does not offer non stop service and instead offers on stop flights via its European hubs in Amsterdam, Paris and London.
"It is exciting to be able to announce Delta's return to India from the US as part of our vision to expand Delta's reach internationally," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. " We are looking forward to providing customers in the US and India with Delta's famously reliable, customer-focused service operated by the best employees in the industry," he said.
The announcement follows agreements between the US and the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to address the issue of government subsidies provided to state-owned carriers in those nations. The framework created by the agreement allows Delta to move forward with service to India, a market long impacted by government-subsidized Middle Eastern airlines.This move will mark a return to India for Delta, which was forced to exit the market after subsidized state-owned airlines made service economically unviable.