Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Driven by demand, American Airlines flies back to India after nearly 10 yrs

New Delhi: Almost a decade after it stopped its India services, American Airlines — the world’s largest airline by passengers carried — flew non-stop from New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport to New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Friday, in a clear indication of growing demand momentum between India and the US in a post-Covid world. However, in what could be a response to the lagging corporate travel recovery, the airline has pushed back the launch of its Seattle-Bengaluru service by a few months. “With the launch of this new route from New York to Delhi, and in partnership with IndiGo we will provide world class travel options to address the existing passenger demand in both countries. With the easing of travel between global destinations, and with more routes and options being made available soon, international travel is expected to gain huge momentum,” Molly Wilkinson, vice president-regulatory & international affairs, American Airlines said in a statement.

The airline has proposed a code-share agreement with IndiGo, meaning travellers of American Airlines could take connecting flights to other stations in India using IndiGo’s network.

The US reopened its borders for fully-vaccinated international travellers on November 8 since first shutting it down last year on account of Covid. India, too, earlier this week, started easing restrictions for tourists coming to India. In 2012, on the back of weak demand, American Airlines had shut down its only India connection between Chicago and Delhi.

Launch of the airline’s Seattle-Bengaluru flight — that connects e-commerce giant Amazon’s global and India headquarters — has now been delayed by a few months against the earlier expected launch date of January 4, 2022.

16/11/21 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express

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