Delta Air Lines will become the only US carrier linking New York JFK and Indian financial hub Mumbai with a non-stop service due to start later this year.
The airline will begin service on December 22 using Boeing 777-200LRs featuring its Delta One suite, Premium Select, Comfort+ and nine-across seating in the main cabin.
Other features in the renovated aircraft include seatback entertainment, Gogo Ku Wi-Fi and full spectrum LED lighting.
Delta previously served Mumbai between 2006 and 2009 but says it was forced to suspend the service because “illegally subsidized Middle East carriers” made it untenable.
It hailed agreements reached by the Trump administration with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as a factor in its decision to return to Mumbai.
“This route would not be possible without the administration’s ongoing efforts to enforce fair competition in international travel, ensuring that consumers enjoy a wide range of choices as they travel the globe,’’ chief executive Ed Bastian said.
The airline had originally planned to link up with Jet Airways in India before the Indian carrier stopped operating.
It did not mention alternative arrangements in its announcement but said its gateway at JFK would offer convenient connections from more than 50 communities throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America.
Demand for flights between the U.S. and India had increased significantly in the last decade, and New York was the biggest US market to India with the largest base of corporate customers, it said.
Delta’s presence in New York has grown by 65 percent over the past decade and it now operates more than 500 peak-day departures from its hubs at LaGuardia and JFK airports.
The new flights will depart JFK at 9:15 pm and arrive in Mumbai at 10:50 pm the next day.
The departure on the way back is at 12:50 am, arriving at JFK at 6:35 am.
Delta will also add a third seasonal flight from JFK to Cancun in Mexico from January 6.