Delta back in India: US airline launches non-stop service to Mumbai

New agreement allows the American carrier to connect the US with India after almost a decade

Delta Air Lines will soon return to India as they have announced they will be relaunching a non-stop connection between the United States and Mumbai.

The renewed flights should take off in 2019 and will either depart from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport or Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, CNBC reports.

Delta will come back to India after nearly a decade — Delta Air Lines  Delta back in India: the airline launches nonstop service to Mumbai
Delta will come back to India after nearly a decade — Delta Air Lines

The carrier announced the plan less than ten days after an agreement between the US government and the countries of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar was struck.

The countries disputed the issue of government subsidies provided to state-owned carriers. US carriers were concerned about their ability to compete when three Gulf carriers were estimated to have received $42.3 billion in subsidies and unfair benefits.

Delta will resume its operation in India after almost a decade. They claimed they had been forced to leave the location by “unfair” competition from the Gulf states.

“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,” Delta said in its press release. “This move will mark a return to India for Delta, which was forced to exit the market after subsidised state-owned airlines made service economically unviable.”

Delta CEO, Ed Bastian, has credited the American government for reaching the Open Skies deal, mainly president Donald Trump himself.

“It is exciting to be able to announce Delta’s return to India from the US as part of our vision to expand Delta’s reach internationally,” he said.

“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 US and India with Delta’s famously reliable, customer-focused service operated by the best employees in the industry.”

The deal with the Gulf states has been criticised in some quarters. While it is expected to bring an end to the current dispute, it appears that the Gulf carriers have made few concessions. There appears to have been no real movement on the subsidies received, although Emirati airlines have agreed to better financial reporting.