International Flights Latest Updates: American Airlines re-enters the US-India market with its nonstop New York-Delhi flights, nearly a decade after ending its sole Chicago-Delhi service (in 2012). The inaugural flight (AA292) departed from Terminal-8 of John F. Kennedy International Airport on November 12 and touched down at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Saturday night, covering a distance close to 12,000 km in about 15 hours.
The airline’s nonstop flight between New York and New Delhi will run daily all through the year. With this, air travelers flying nonstop between New York and Delhi have another option in the form of American Airlines along with United and Air India when booking New York to New Delhi flights.
“There is tremendous demand for travel between India and the US, thanks to the large diaspora and growing business ties. The pandemic has led to a preference among people to travel nonstop instead of going one-stop. There is huge potential for expansion in India. Mumbai is one place we are looking at closely. We will see how these two routes that we have announced do and then decide,” American Airlines’ MD (Sales), Tom Lattig, was quoted as saying.
Originally, the US-based airline planned to start the direct New York-New Delhi service at the end of October, but has adjusted the date in line with the Nov 8 US reopening to international travelers from 33 countries, including India.
On the other hand, American Airlines has also deferred the launch of its Bengaluru-Seattle service (which was to begin from Jan 4, 2022) to March. Reportedly, this is because business travel is expected to pick up by March 2022.
American Airlines has deployed a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the JFK-DEL route. This wide-bodied aircraft offers 216 economy seats, 28 premium economy, 52 Flagship business class and 8 Flagship first class seats. Furthermore, the aircraft is equipped with Wi-Fi (from Panasonic that boasts great oceanic coverage) and power ports on all seats.
According to news reports, the airline will switch to Boeing 777-200ER aircraft from summer 2022 for the operation of JFK-DEL flights. The Boeing 772 aircraft features 37 Flagship business class seats, 66 extra-legroom economy seats, and 146 standard economy seats.
“Our India flights will have a feel of the country in terms of meals, inflight entertainment content, and Hindi-speaking crew,” said Tom Lattig.
American Airlines has also signed a codeshare agreement with IndiGo recently, in order to provide seamless nationwide connectivity to its passengers. The benefits for passengers include AAdvantage members earning miles when traveling on American codeshare flights operated by IndiGo and American Airlines’ Flagship business class travelers gaining access to IndiGo partner lounges in their originating cities.