United Airlines is reducing the number of flights to India following a recent US Travel ban and a sharp rises in cases as the Asian country continues to battle its worst wave of COVID-19. Let’s find out more.
Reducing flights to India
According to Reuters, United Airlines is suspending its Chicago-New Delhi route from 1st June 2021. The route currently operates daily and was launched last December as the demand for direct flights rose between India and the US. United will resume Chicago-Delhi flights from 1st July 2021, although this would depend on demand bouncing back.
However, until the route is suspended from 1st June, United is boosting capacity on Chicago-Delhi route. The airline will deploy its Boeing B777-300ER aircraft instead of the usual Boeing B787-9 aircraft that generally serves the route. United says that this decision has been made to boost repatriation services for travelers in both countries as well as send more critical medical cargo. The B777 seats 340 passengers compared to approximately 250 on the B787.
Mumbai and Delhi flights remain unchanged
United will continue to serve Mumbai and Delhi as it is. This means that the Newark-Mumbai, Newark-Delhi and San Francisco-Delhi routes will continue to operate on a daily basis as previously. This ensures that essential connectivity to the US remains unhindered for those who are eligible to travel.
Bengaluru route pushed back
United’s much-awaited San Francisco-Bengaluru route has now been pushed back from its planned launch on 27th May 2021. Instead, the brand-new route will now launch on 1st August 2021 of all goes as planned.
Now that United is planning to launch its Bengaluru route in August, this means that it will only be 2 months ahead of American’s Seattle-Bengaluru route launch. American Airlines is planning to launch flights to Bengaluru from Seattle from 30th October 2021.
Not the only airline to reduce frequencies
United is not the only airline that has decided to reduce frequencies between India and the US. Indian national carrier Air India too has reduced services to the US as demand fell when the travel ban came into effect on 4th May 2021.
Meanwhile, American Airlines has announced that it will be back serving the Indian market as it plans to launch New York-Delhi route from 31st October 2021.
Featured image by United
What do you think of United’s decision to reduce frequencies and delay the Bengaluru launch? Let me know in the comments section below.