Announcement: Delta Will Fly Non-Stop to India By End of 2019

Delta has announced they will fly nonstop between the states and Mumbai, India this year. While the details (e.g. departure city in the USA) have not been revealed, they plan to release the full details soon.


Delta has 9 hubs:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Minneapolis-St.Paul (MSP)
  • New York (JFK)
  • New York (LGA)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • Seattle/Tacoma (SEA)

However, some departure cities don’t make much sense (I’m looking at you SLC).

Atlanta (ATL) is Delta’s main hub and home to its operations and maintenance base. Given the amount of passengers that transfer through ATL (the world’s busiest airport), it could make sense to make ATL the gateway city for this flight.

If you fly internationally with any frequency, you know that New York (JFK) seems to be the hub for every international flight regardless of airline. There is a large market in NYC and Delta could easily (and efficiently) channel a lot of passengers with this flight. However, United and Air India also offer nonstop flights from Newark (EWR) to Mumbai (BOM) so there is a bit of competition.

Detroit (DTW) is Delta’s 2nd largest overall hub. It is the primary Asian gateway for the Eastern United States so this could also make sense.

So, I’m placing my bets on ATL or JFK (and in a distant 3rd place DTW).

Additionally, the distance for all three routes are within range for a 777-200LR or the A350-900.

Note: Mark my words, if they put the A359 on this route from Atlanta, I’ll be on the first available award flight.

The last time Delta flew to India was in 2015, but Delta eliminated the route citing the Middle Eastern Airlines (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar) had an unfair advantage. However, don’t be fooled, Delta operated the flight from Amsterdam to Mumbai and it was terrible business decision.

Let’s also keep in mind that the United flight that I mentioned above (EWR to BOM) has been operating profitably for years, in spite of those evil monsters (also known as the Gulf carriers). 😉

Not surprisingly, Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta, used the majority of the press release for this new flight to harp on the Gulf carriers. I don’t want to focus on that but if you’re interested in reading the details, here is the press release.


Given the relatively short time frame between now and the end of the year, I would expect full details to be released in the coming weeks.

I am excited about this announcement. If you have followed my journey on Instagram over the past few years, you may be familiar with photos of “my kids” in Delhi and Kolkata. I spent some time living in India and make an attempt to visit them annually. I haven’t completed my 2019 India trip so this seems like a great reason to plan one…particularly if it’s on the A359. I’ve been so eager to fly on this plane!

What gateway city do you think Delta will use for the flight to Mumbai?

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