MIAMI — Delta Air Lines has announced the launch of a new nonstop flight between the US and Mumbai.
According to the airline, the opening of this route follows agreements between the US and the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, “addressing the issue of government subsidies provided to state-owned carriers in those nations.”
As the diplomatic spat between the US and the Arab countries has come to an end, Delta finds its way back past the Middle Eastern region to India.
The airline had canceled its Atlanta–Dubai route in 2016, claiming that no US carrier could fairly compete against the “subsidized Gulf carriers.” unfair competition.
“Delta will no longer fly between Atlanta and Dubai effective Feb. 11, 2016,” published the airline in a statement.
“The announcement comes amid overcapacity on U.S. routes to the Middle East operated by government-owned and heavily subsidized airlines.”
The re-opening of a direct link to India marks Delta’s comeback to the region.
“It is exciting to be able to announce Delta’s return to India from the U.S. as part of our vision to expand Delta’s reach internationally,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.
“We are thankful to the president for taking real action to enforce our Open Skies trade deals, which made this new service possible.”
Bastian admitted that, even though the route is pending government’s approval, he is looking forward to providing his vast customer base a reliable service to Mumbai.
The airline has yet to disclose the point of origin for the Mumbai service, as well as the type of aircraft it will operate.
It is likely Delta will deploy the Boeing 777-200(LR) from its Atlanta or New York hubs, linking with Mumbai’s large Jet Airways hub through a codesharing agreement that the US carrier plans to expand.
From Atlanta, the distance to Mumbai is almost 8,500 nautical miles, translating into 15 hours of flight. From New York, it’s a 7,800 nautical miles journey, with at least 14 hours of flying time.
Booming European Summer
In other news, the airline has unveiled that the upcoming summer will be the “busiest ever.”
Delta is to deploy its planes on 11 transatlantic routes.
According to the carrier, the “hottest” summer destination is Portugal, to which the airline is increasing capacity by over more than 200%, compared to last year.
Delta is launching flights to the Azores for the first time (from New York), as well as opening the Atlanta – Lisbon route this summer.
Other American cities seeing new European links is Indianapolis, which will be connected to Paris.
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According to Delta, the route “starts just in time” for the Indy 500 competition.
Paris will also see an increase of its Delta service, with an all-new direct flight to Pittsburgh and an additional Detroit frequency.
Other routes Delta will bring for the summer season are the Minneapolis-Reykjavik, New York-Copenhagen, New York-Glasgow, Atlanta-Barcelona, Atlanta/Boston-Dublin.