Delta Air Lines has added a new daily direct route from New York JFK International Airport to Mumbai International Airport and will start the link on 22 December.
The flight will be the only direct service by a US carrier and is made possible by 2018 agreements between the US and governments of the U.A.E. and Qatar to address Open Skies-violating government subsidies to state-owned carriers.
Delta will fly the route with a newly renovated Boeing 777-200LR.
“Delta’s nonstop service between New York and Mumbai is the latest example of our international growth as we strive to connect the world better than any other airline,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.
“This route would not be possible without the administration’s ongoing efforts to enforce fair competition in international travel, ensuring that consumers enjoy a wide range of choices as they travel the globe.”
Delta first offered service between the US and Mumbai beginning in 2006, but said it was forced to suspend the service in 2009 as “illegally subsidised Middle East carriers made the route untenable”.
“Subsidies pose a serious threat to American workers,” said Peter Carter, Delta’s executive vice president and chief legal officer. “Every long-haul route lost or foregone to subsidized Middle East carrier competition costs more than 1,500 American jobs, so we are pleased to bring this route back into service thanks to landmark agreements the Trump administration reached with Qatar and the U.A.E.”
Delta has grown its presence in New York City by over 65 percent in the last 10 years and today operates more than 500 peak-day departures from its hubs at LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport – including more than 200 daily departures from JFK, where Delta and its partners serve 43 international destinations in 32 countries.
Delta recently announced plans to add new service to London’s Gatwick Airport in 2020, along with joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic. Delta has also announced a second daily flight from JFK to Tel Aviv and a second daily flight from JFK to Paris beginning this summer, along with a third flight from JFK to Amsterdam that will begin in October 2019.
In recent years, Delta has added non-stop service from JFK to new destinations including The Azores, Portugal; Lagos, Nigeria; and San Jose, Calif. The airline unveiled its $1.2 billion, state-of-the-art international gateway at JFK’s Terminal 4 in 2013.