Delta Air Lines will begin non-stop flights between the US nd Mumbai next year marking a return to India for the carrier which said it was forced to exit the market in 2015 after subsidised state-owned airlines made service “economically unviable”.
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.
Delta said the framework created by the agreement allows Delta to move forward with service to India, a market long impacted by government-subsidised Middle Eastern airlines.
The service is subject to government approval and full schedule details will be announced later this year.
Chief executive officer, Ed Bastian said: “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.
“We are thankful to the president for taking real action to enforce our Open Skies trade deals, which made this new service possible. We are looking forward to providing customers in the U.S. and India with Delta’s famously reliable, customer-focused service operated by the best employees in the industry.”
Delta also intends to expand its existing codeshare relationship with partner Jet Airways to provide seamless connections to other destinations within India, subject to government approvals.