Delta Air Lines announced its plans to launch a nonstop route linking New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with Mumbai beginning Dec. 22.
Delta said in a statement that demand for flights between the U.S. and India has increased significantly in the last decade and that it will be the only U.S. carrier to offer the JFK-Mumbai route.
The airline previously offered service between the U.S. and Mumbai from 2006 to 2009.
Delta discontinued all service to India in 2015, claiming in part that its flights became unsustainable as fast-growing Gulf carriers siphoned off U.S.-India passengers with cheaper flights that connected through hubs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.
The airline teased the return of service between the U.S. and India last May.
The JFK-Mumbai route will operate year-round on a newly renovated Boeing 777-200LR, leaving from JFK at 9:15 p.m. and arriving at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 10:50 p.m. the next day — a roughly 16-hour flight. The return flight to the U.S. will leave Mumbai at 12:50 a.m. and arrive at JFK at 6:35 a.m — just over 15 hours.
The aircraft features 28 Delta One suites, which feature comfy leather-padded seats, high walls and a sliding door.
The airline did not announce when travelers could begin booking the flights nor how frequently they would operate.
The return of a nonstop U.S. route to Mumbai was made possible by 2018 agreements between the governments of the U.S., United Arab Emirates and Qatar to address U.S. carriers’ concerns about foreign rivals getting illegal subsidies, according to Peter Carter, Delta’s Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer…