Aviation News

United Airlines goes double-daily on Newark-Delhi route; drops Bengaluru plans

United has announced that it is going double-daily on Newark-Delhi route.

Double-daily to Delhi

Starting 28th October 2023, United will operate a second-daily flight between Newark Liberty International Airport and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport with the following schedule:

  • Newark-Delhi
  • Departure time: 09:40
  • Arrival time: 10:10 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 15 hours
  • Flight number: UA816
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Delhi-Newark
  • Departure time: 12:15
  • Arrival time: 19:40
  • Flight time: 16 hours and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: UA817
  • Frequency: Daily (This flight launches on 29th October 2023)

These flights will be operated by Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners featuring 48 lie-flat Polaris Business Class seats, 21 Premium Plus seats (Premium Economy) and 188 standard Economy Class seats including 39 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats.

The existing daily service to Delhi runs with the following schedule:

  • Newark-Delhi
  • Departure time: 20:15
  • Arrival time: 20:50 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 15 hours and 05 minutes
  • Flight number: UA82
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Delhi-Newark
  • Departure time: 23:55
  • Arrival time: 07:20 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 16 hours and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: UA83
  • Frequency: Daily

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Interesting development

It’s clear that United has no option other than to focus on Delhi now for its India operations. Since the Russian airspace closure for U.S.-based airlines, United has not been able to serve Mumbai and also operate flights to Delhi from San Francisco and Chicago. The only route that has been operating without any problem is the Newark-Delhi route.

United has also confirmed that it has dropped its plan to serve Bengaluru, something which the airline announced during the pandemic but the plan did not come to fruition. With all other doors closed, United has no other option but to focus on its Newark-Delhi service and it is doing just that by increasing capacity on the route.

United has been an old player and one of the strongest players in the U.S.-India market and it will naturally not want to loose market share in such a crucial one. The U.S.-India market has been one of those which has been consistently growing and with Air India’s growth in the market and entry of newer airlines in the market like American Airlines, United will naturally want to maintain its strong hold.

United is introducing a daytime flight, something which will attract leisure and VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) traffic as the timings are better suited for them from Newark to Delhi and vice-versa. The existing flight is mainly targeted at business travellers, with an early morning arrival in Newark so that they can get running immediately and get a days work done.

United can only hope that the conditions ease and it is able to serve more routes in the market, but until then, this is the only option the airline has. United can only hope that Air India does not grab the market in a short span of time (as it uses Russian airspace resulting in shorter flight times and no route restrictions). It will be interesting to see how the U.S.-market evolves but this latest development from United is a welcome move.

Featured image by United

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