American Airlines Launching New York To Delhi Route

Filed Under: American

Last week American Airlines announced plans to add yet another long haul route, and it’s an interesting one. Well, this flight is now for sale, so we now know what the schedule will look like.

American adds New York to Delhi service

As of October 31, 2021, American Airlines will launch a new route between New York (JFK) and Delhi (DEL).

The route will operate year-round, with daily frequencies during peak season (November 17 through January 3), and 3x weekly frequencies for the rest of the year. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

AA292 New York to Delhi departing 8:10PM arriving 8:30PM (+1 day)
AA293 Delhi to New York departing 12:55AM arriving 6:30AM

Starting in early January, the flight will operate on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays eastbound, and Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays westbound.

The ~7,318 mile flight is blocked at 13hr50min eastbound and 16hr5min westbound. The flight will cover a roughly similar distance to American Airlines’ Dallas to Shanghai and Los Angeles to Sydney routes.

American’s New York to Delhi route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200ER. These planes feature a total of 273 seats, including 37 business class seats, 24 premium economy seats, and 212 economy seats.

American Airlines’ Boeing 777 premium economy

As mentioned above, this flight is now available for sale. While I don’t see much business class award availability, I do see quite a bit of business class upgrade availability, should you want to book economy and then use miles or systemwide upgrades to confirm a business class seat.

How India expansion fits into American’s route network

American’s New York to Delhi route is being added thanks to the American and JetBlue strategic alliance in the Northeast. With this we’re seeing American expand into new long haul markets, while JetBlue provides much of the regional feed for these flights.

American and JetBlue have a new strategic alliance

This is the fifth new long haul route that American has announced out of New York in the past several months, in addition to:

  • A seasonal New York to Athens flight
  • A year-round New York to Rio de Janeiro flight
  • A year-round New York to Santiago flight
  • A year-round New York to Tel Aviv flight

American Airlines’ new long haul routes out of New York

Bigger picture, when it comes to American Airlines’ India service:

Looking at the New York to India market big-picture:

  • Air India operates to both Delhi and Mumbai
  • United operates to both Delhi and Mumbai
  • Delta launched a New York to Mumbai route in 2019, though it has since been suspended, and it’s anyone’s guess if/when it will be restored

United is strong between Newark and India

By the way, it’s pretty funny to me that American claims to have “the fastest growing network from the United States to India.” This comes as American goes from zero to two routes. So yes, I suppose the growth rate is so high here that it can’t even be calculated, though the claim does seem quite disingenuous.

Bottom line

American Airlines will launch a new route between New York and Delhi, made possible thanks to the new partnership between American and JetBlue. We’re seeing American add significant long haul service out of the New York area, which sure is cool to see. In particular I’m excited about American’s expansion to both India and Israel, both of which were markets where the airline didn’t previously have a presence.

I’m still not sure whether American’s strategy of relying so heavily on Alaska and JetBlue for its international network is a smart one, but I guess we’ll find out over time.

What do you make of American adding a New York to Delhi route?

  1. Delta actually did launch JFK-BOM. It launched in December 2019 ahead of the pandemic. It was quickly canceled with the pandemic. Not sure if they’re planning on restoring it.

  2. A slight correction: Delta’s JFK-BOM route was launched in December 2019 (using a 777-200LR), and was “suspended” due to COVID-19.

  3. This is great news ! However AA will need a partner in India to feed this route, especially if they have to compete with UA and AI.

  4. It would be nice if one of the US3 could codeshare or partner with a domestic Indian Airlines (Vistara please!) for onward connectivity. Pre-pandemic we flew consistently to Baroda/Vadodara and if you didn’t want to fly to AMD and drive we would fly into Delhi, collect luggage, walk to the domestic terminals, re-check, etc. Sucked! I’m still kind of perplexed there isn’t more partnerships.

  5. @ Lucky…. Will one be able to use BA Avios for those flights or will BA only allow redemptions on BA metal out of JFK?

  6. At this point the Big Three are just throwing anything against the wall to see what sticks. I imagine half these routes are axed within a year.

  7. AA doesn’t understand their own strategy besides for the fact that CLT feeds mainly domestic, DFW is their mega-hub and Miami services the Caribbean/Latin America.

    It is fully clear American is just trying to throw and see whatever sticks to NY relying on jetblue for feed.

    United is the dominant player in NYC long haul market servicing more places than any other carrier and i dont see that changing.

  8. The official name of the city is Bengaluru.

    As for the “Honorable” Reginald, your sh*t stinks as much as the next human being, but humanity clearly isn’t your strong suit.

  9. @Reginald — without the UK’s “help” (ie stealing 99% of the country’s wealth), we’d be the richest country in the world. The UK stole $45T (yes that’s a T for trillion) from India. That’s in 1947 dollars.

  10. If American was going to try, they would have recognized there is no airlines from NY serving Bengalore…but oh wait, American doesnt think like that, they just like to play catch up with competitors

  11. AA should be serving India and hopefully the route is successful and more destinations are forth coming like Mumbai and Hyderabad from NYC and possibly DFW. Once things settle down politically and with covid there is no reason why AA or the other Big Two US Carriers do not add Cairo,Istanbul and more Eastern Europe. The US Carriers need to be more competitive and stop fleeing markets because Corporate Greed is more important than a Global Network. (AA’s weakness in Asia is all self inflicted, They choose not to compete.).

  12. Thank you Ben for removing “Reginald”’s racist comments.

    I appreciate all your hard work generating content and making this a safe place for discussion without toxic people!

  13. Indian cities w/ non-stop current or planned flights to US: DEL/BOM/HYD/BLR
    US cities w/ non-stop current or planned flights to India: SEA/SFO/ORD/JFK/EWR/IAD/ATL

    Amazing to see non-stop flights between the two cities evolve the way they have. Living in Seattle and having family in HYD I once had to fly SEA-NRT-BKK-BOM-HYD.

    I hope once DEL/BOM get full of non-stop flights we’ll see more to HYD or BLR.

  14. @UK, the official name can be whatever it wants to be. Nativist movements can rename things and try to erase the past all they want. I think its totally acceptable for a blog of this nature to use the name most commonly used for the city India, and globally.

    More on point, though: thank god AA is trying again. Not having anything in India was so annoying. That said, as an AA EXP, I’ll still fly QR, unless I see confirmed SWU space available before booking.

  15. @Sharon – There is a reason why AA chose SEA instead of JFK for BLR. It is not to ‘catch up with DL’ as you suggest but because the major chunk of business traffic to/from BLR is to SFO and SEA. Why would they launch JFK-BLR when SEA-BLR had more business demand, can secure many contracts with Microsoft and Amazon and is shorter than JFK-BLR??? You can’t sustain a non-stop to BLR on just VFR traffic through JFK.

  16. I gotta see this as a shot across UA’s bow given its presence in India, esp. from NYC. They are using much more fuel-efficient 787s which will matter on a flight to India. Not sure why AA can get 787s to SEA but not to JFK for this flight.
    DL has served (and I believe is still serving) BOM during the pandemic but via cargo only flights with a stop in Europe. I just had a friend fly UA back to India and there were less than 20 people on the flight. It seems hard to justify the extra fuel and flight attendants for a nonstop flight if the majority of the revenue still comes from cargo.

  17. @Tim Dunn, UA doesn’t fly the 787 from EWR to either DEL or BOM. Those flights are operated with the 77W. UA does fly 787s from SFO to India. AA does not fly 787s out of NYC yet as it does not have a 787 pilot base at JFK. That may change, eventually, given how many 788/789 AA still has on order and that the 772/77W is too much plane for a lot of routes AA plans from JFK like SCL.

  18. thanks, Shoe.
    UA did operate the 787-9 on EWR-DEL last summer but they do use the 77W, which has greater cargo capabilities and is more fuel efficient per passenger than the 777-200ER but less fuel efficient than the 787-9.

    And I still don’t understand how AA can’t get the right planes in the right hubs. There is no 15 hour/7000 mile route in which a 777-200ER is the right plane against any other in the US airline fleet.

  19. Any guesses on if/when India will reopen to tourists? I know they’re dealing with a pretty serious increase in Covid, but if things improve, I wonder if they’d reopen in Q3 or Q4?

  20. Why does no one fly SFO-BOM!!!??? We all could use that so much more than the East Coast folks who have so many options! Ben – can you use your influence to get that route set up and started?

  21. @Tim Dunn, often the flight attendants are either an FAA or union contract requirement. Yay beauracracy!

  22. Your last comment regarding on the wisdom of American depending on domestic feed by JetBlue and Alaska is remeniscent of Pan Am depending on domestic carriers for international feed. The downfall of that strategy was that domestic carriers joined up with foreign carriers at the expense of Pan Am and left Pan Am with insufficient feed. TWA had the benefit of a domestic network to feed their international network.

  23. The old justin would insert a racist comment here but it’s 2021. The cue in the boarding area will the longest and most hectic American Airlines has ever experienced. I’d rather go to New Dehli than Bangalore because you can go see the Taj Mahal.

  24. Like everyone here, I too was excited to see direct flights from USA to India. When AA launched SEA-BLR direct flight, guess how many miles were they charging ? most days 180k miles for this flight Vs 70k miles with QR. I am assuming they will charge premium for JFK-DEL route too.

  25. Since Jet Blue and American are introducing secure side connections at JFK will they also pick up Alaska customers at terminal 7 en route to terminal 8?

  26. @EC2 – BA Avios can be used on any Oneworld flight as long as the operating partner doesn’t specify a restriction. There hasn’t been a restriction on redeeming Avios on AA trans-Atlantic since 2008 when US-European open skies started.

    When AA flew ORD-DEL, BA awards were permitted then, and JFK-DEL should be the same as any other AA route using Avios.

  27. @Sean M

    Nick in Chicago was clearly not aware of the Indian domestic tie-up arrangements with United; otherwise I’m sure he wouldn’t have made his lamentation. Regardless, we all appreciate your continued acronym-free wisdom.

  28. Must suck living in a once colonized country that is now just a mere shadow of its former self.

    “Without the UK India would be the richest country in the world” — girl, please…

  29. @Franklin, erasing the past? Seriously?

    Do you know the history of the city? Or what locals call it?

    Oh, I’m sure you wanted to explain that too.

    Are you in the I-still-call-it-Peking crowd cause you know better?

  30. @UK
    It’s a tricky one, though. Should I strenuously object to French people using the name Londres for the capital city of my country? Why can’t they use the “correct” name?

    Many international cities have different names in different languages (we English speakers usually refer to Florence, not Firenze, and we’re not doing it to cause offence. Similarly Rome instead of Roma).

  31. India is having 300K new cases every day with most believing that is not the actual number. The articles over the weekend about mass cremations were sad and horrible. We really think this route starts in 5 months?

  32. This route isn’t going to happen in 2021 given India’s COVID crisis. The country is progressively being closed off to all but cargo service at this point.

  33. I’m actually somewhat surprised that American bothered announcing this right now given the situation in India (y’know, a million cases and headlines about the health care system there collapsing in the space of two weeks…). At a bare minimum, even if I planned to operate the route come hell or high water, I probably would have sat on the announcement until India’s case rate started trending downwards (especially since if it stays stubbornly high, I’d probably be delaying startup for a bit anyway).

  34. I believe in the long run- United will lead non-stop services owing to their hubs in EWR and SFO that have enough high end O&D traffic to sustain the yields.

    If American launches the route, they will struggle. International travel out of India is unlikely to normalise anytime soon. Delhi is also served by a number of nonstops- UA (Chicago, Newark, SFO), Air India (SFO, JFK, Washington, Chicago, Toronto), Air Canada (Toronto, Vancouver). Moreover, American’s choice of aircraft is also a bit mystifying. Surely it would be far more economical for them to operate a 787-9/8 on a ULH route that is likely to underperform for sometime.

    Delta is adopting a smart in adopting a wait and watch strategy. They could easily launch routes out of their Seattle hub- they have obviously anticipated challenges. They have sufficient access to the market though their JV partners- AF, KLM and VS.

  35. This schedule is for 31st OCT and later!
    6 months is a long way to go before decision can be made to travel or not.

    Do you realize where we were with COVID six months ago? Sheesh!

  36. What’s up with OMAAT and not posting my comment? I don’t believe there was anything I wrote that could be flagged… *totally confuzzled*

  37. Given the other article update that there may be a ban on Indian flights I wonder how this will affect this route. Perhaps American will wait to launch it.

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