Thursday, September 10, 2020

United adding direct India flights could mean non-stop is now way to go

New Delhi: As a part of its global network expansion, US-based airline United has added flights between India and the US to destinations such as Chicago and San Francisco. The airline’s expansion plans also includes flights to Africa and the US state of Hawaii. United’s plan to add more long-haul non-stop routes is in line with the view that the aftermath of Covid19 pandemic will see higher demand for non-stop flights over connecting flights.

Starting December this year, United will fly daily between Chicago and New Delhi and starting spring 2021, the airline will connect the two countries’ tech hubs of San Francisco and Bengaluru. Currently, the airline operates from Delhi to Newark and San Francisco.

While there are a number of options available for connecting flights for these American airports from India, national carrier Air India is the only one other than United to connect Delhi and Chicago, and Delhi and Newark non-stop. Although Air India connects San Francisco to Delhi, United will be the only operator to fly on the Bengaluru-San Franscisco route. United also operates on the Mumbai-Newark route. Similarly, Air India also connects India to other US cities like Washington DC.

In its statement announcing the flights, United has said Chicago has the second highest population of Indian-Americans in the US, and customers from more than 130 US cities can connect on United through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. “Service from San Francisco to Bangalore connects two international technology hubs, broadening United’s west coast service to India, which also includes San Francisco to New Delhi.
10/09/20 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express
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