New York To Mumbai Relaunched By Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines has reinstated its New York to Mumbai service after 10 years out of action. The airline proudly boasted about the new route offering after years of frustration at not being able to operate the service. The carrier hopes that increased demand will make this route a success.

Delta 777-200LR
Delta Air Lines will be relaunching its New York to Mumbai offering. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr

Gushing pride over new Mumbai service

It was back in 2006 that Delta Air Lines began its non-stop service from JFK in New York to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai. At the time, the airline boasted proudly of the historical route which saw it offer the only direct flight connecting John F. Kennedy International Airport to Mumbai. Delta Air Lines gushed about the significance of the route. It cut travel time to Mumbai by two hours.

Speaking at the time, the Vice President of Network Planning at Delta, Bob Cortelyou said the following in a press release:

“We understand that our customers’ most valuable commodity is their time, and we are giving back thousands of hours each year to customers flying between the United States and India who previously had to make international connections to reach Mumbai.”

But since then, a lot has changed. In 2009, Delta Air Lines was hampered by competition from what it called “illegally subsidized Middle East carriers”. It said that the competition on the route made operating it impossible. So, just three years after the inauguration, the airline shut this Indian operation.

Delta 777-200LR at airport
Delta has been waiting a long time to reinstate the route. Photo: Jiaquin AirplaneFan via Wikimedia Commons

A new start for the Mumbai to New York route

However, just five days ago the airlines reinstated its Mumbai to New York route. On Sunday 22nd December 2019, flight DL 24 left from JFK to BOM. Flight number DL24 will operate from the U.S. to India and flight DL 25 will operate on the way back.

Whatever frustrations that Delta had harbored back when the route ceased operations it has now turned into excitement. The airline appears to have gone all out for the revamped Indian jaunt. The daily service, which takes 15 hours, will be flown on Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. This is almost a carbon copy of what Delta launched with back in 2006, but not quite. Back then, the airline was using a 777-200ER. But the difference isn’t only the aircraft’s range. Delta has completely revamped the interior. In a recent statement, it said:

“We’re investing in every customer, wherever they sit on our aircraft, ensuring time flies faster on long-haul routes like our new Mumbai service. Through major investment in onboard comfort, technology, airport innovation and sustainability, we’re offering a Delta experience like never before…”

The route will include private Delta One Suites, increased legroom and additional recline as well as a nine abreast configuration in the main cabin. What’s more, there’ll be a plethora of Bollywood films to choose from as well as free limited speed wifi.

Delta Business Class cabin on 777-200LR
Delta Air Lines shared a preview of its cabin offering on the route. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Why return to Mumbai?

Delta’s excitement over its latest network development is understandable. But why did it decide to return to Mumbai in the first place? Well, there’s a good commercial reason for that. Customer demand for Indian connections is growing and there’s already lots of competition in the United States. Delta’s edge is that it can provide the route in less time without a European stop, not to mention the additional long-haul comforts. Other carriers that connect New York with Mumbai on this specific route stop in Amsterdam like KLM and London Heathrow like Virgin Atlantic.

But it’s not just leisure tourism that’s increasing in India. It’s the business professionals who will profit most from the route. New York has the largest density of businessmen and women operating with corporations in India. For as long as there will be a need for these professionals to convene in India and the United States Delta will remain in profit and it’s service looks to be a clear choice when it comes to efficiency and comfort.

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