Preference for direct flights to India over connecting flights is one of the most anticipated changes to US-India air travel in the post-COVID19 world. United Airlines is all set to make a futuristic move by adding a few new nonstop flights to its global network including India. Chicago to New Delhi and San Francisco to Bengaluru are the latest additions to United Airlines’ direct US-India flights, the airline announced this week.
Starting December 2020, United Airlines will be operating nonstop flights between Chicago and New Delhi seven days a week. Direct United flights between San Francisco and Bengaluru will be launched in spring 2021. Currently, United Airlines’ US-India air travel bubble schedule includes SFO to Delhi, and Newark to Delhi and Mumbai flights.
Direct flights to Bengaluru from SFO, USA – which has remained untapped till date – will prove to be a Midas touch for United Airlines. It will be the first-ever nonstop route between the Silicon Valley of America and the Silicon Valley of India. Currently, there are direct flights from USA to New Delhi and Mumbai. United Airlines is the first to operate nonstop flights from USA to Bengaluru, Kempegowda International Airport.
Early this year, American Airlines had announced to launch daily nonstop Seattle-Bengaluru service in October 2020 – which seems uncertain in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2010, Air India has remained unrivaled in operating direct Chicago to Delhi flights. United Airlines’ upcoming service on the same route is being anticipated as a stiff competition to Air India. “Chicago is home to the second highest Indian population in the United States, and Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD) is a well-connected hub for United flights, domestic as well as international,” the airline said during a press briefing announcing the new direct flights from USA to India. Undeniably, Chicago to New Delhi is one of the busiest routes between the US and India.
“There is high demand for nonstop flights from USA to Chennai and Kolkata, according to our several surveys. Nonstop flights are shorter than nonstop hub flights. Most of our customers are seeking itineraries with short travel time for their round trips to India this year end and in 2021. United Airlines having added two new direct flights – SFO to BLR and ORD to DEL – brightens our hope for the opening up of more and more nonstop routes between USA and India,” said the chief information officer of Indian Eagle, a leading travel-booking partner of Indians in North America.