The United States of America and India are among the list of largest countries in the world, with huge populations and strong economies. Both USA and India enjoy a good relationship in which people-to-people ties form the cornerstones. For the past many years, the Indian communities in the USA have evolved tremendously, and the trend of booking flights from India to the USA and vice versa has developed rapidly. Many Indians book India to USA flights for visiting friends and families (VFR) and business purposes. India to USA flights connects the technological and leisure hubs of two countries for corporate and holiday travelers. Let’s find out more about India to USA flights.
India to USA flight is a long-haul service that covers thousands of miles within 14 to 17 hours. This service allows people in India to access US cities for business and holidays. In total, only three airlines offer nonstop services between Indian and US cities. They are Air India, United Airlines, and American Airlines.
Air India, the flag carrier of India, operates nonstop India to USA flights to cater to an increasing number of Indian Diasporas in the USA and get a fair share of India-USA traffic. It is the pioneer in the operation of direct air services from India to the USA. Currently, it offers flights to the US cities of New York, San Francisco, and Chicago from Indira Gandhi International Airport using Boeing 777 aircraft.
Air India launched its first-ever nonstop service between Delhi and Chicago O’Hare on October 31, 2011. The Delhi-Chicago route is lucrative for the Indian flagship airline as Chicago is the second-largest Indian-American community. It has tasted success with direct Delhi-Chicago flights offering unparalleled services and quicker flying times for US-bound traffic.
Air India inaugurated nonstop Delhi-San Francisco flights on 2 December 2015, becoming the first airline to serve the route with a flight duration of 15 hours and 55 minutes.
The Delhi-New York flight is one of the most popular routes of Air India, first launched in 1993. Effective February 8, 2008, the airline launched 28 weekly flights on this route utilizing state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. Currently, Air India serves two airports in New York, namely John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
Air India used to operate three-weekly flights directly from Mumbai to New York but discontinued it due to poor demand and low-seat occupancy. The TATA group carrier operated the longest nonstop route connecting the Silicon Valley of India (Bengaluru) to the West Coast of the US (San Francisco) from January 2021 till March 2021.
The largest airline in the USA, American Airlines, operates a popular year-round route between New York and Delhi, covering a distance of 7318 miles. The national US carrier offers a nonstop flight from John F. Kennedy Airport with 15 hours and 30 minutes. American Airlines deploys 304-seat Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring eight first-class seats, 52 business-class seats, 28 premium economy, and 216 economy seats.
American Airlines has formed a codeshare partnership with British Airways to operate flights from New York to Delhi with a stopover at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). British Airways, with flight code AA6939, operates JFK-LHR flight on a 3-class configuration (main, cabin, first-class) onboard Boeing 777. After a 23hour, 20 minutes stopover, AA6663 will take 8 hours and 45 minutes to arrive from London to Delhi.
Although American Airlines’ highly-anticipated route between Seattle and Bangalore was slated to kick off on October 29 this year, the airline paused the schedule citing ongoing airspace restrictions over Russia as the reason for the delay. The flagship Bangalore-Seattle route won’t take off until at least summer 2023. If American Airlines launches this route, it will be the longest route for this carrier, covering a distance of 8,078 miles. The activation of this daily service will connect two major technological hubs to serve corporate customers.
3. United Airlines
United Airlines, a major US carrier, is the only US airline to operate multiple nonstop India to USA flights. For 15 years, United Airlines has maintained its presence in India by offering nonstop flights between Indian and US cities. Indira Gandhi International Airport offers direct flights to New York (Newark), San Francisco, and Chicago. From Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), United Airlines operates direct services to Newark with a journey time of 15 hours and 55 minutes. Newark Liberty International Airport esp. Terminal C is the hub for United Airlines and operates exclusively for the Chicago-based carrier and its regional subsidiary United Express.
United Airlines offers indirect flights from Ahmedabad and Hyderabad to Newark and from Bangalore to San Francisco, Newark, Chicago, and Houston. It also operates connecting flights from Chennai to San Francisco, Newark, Chicago, and Houston. The airline flies to San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston from Mumbai.
As most of the nonstop flights between the USA and India are operated from Delhi and Mumbai, some premium airlines are seeking to tap into the underserved Indian market to fill the gap and fulfill the demands of passengers. United Airlines is anticipating launching a long-haul service between San Francisco and Bangalore on October 28, 2022, targeting higher-yield business travelers from Bay Area looking to fly to India’s growing tech hub. San Francisco-Bangalore will be the flagship route of United Airlines, which is currently priced at $1262 in economy class and $5798 in business class.
Other airlines operating India to US flights
Singapore Airlines, the flag carrier of Singapore, offers indirect service between India and USA, with flights originating from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Mumbai to the US cities of New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Saudi Arabian Airlines operates New Delhi-Los Angeles flights using Boeing 777-300 aircraft with one stopover connection at Jeddah.
India’s largest carrier, IndiGo, hasn’t pursued long-haul expansion to the US, but it has established a codeshare agreement with American Airlines aligning with American’s India flights. The IndiGo flights will connect with the American route, enabling the Fort Worth-based carrier to sell tickets to all four corners of India.
The state-owned Qatar Airways has a codeshare partnership with India’s Vistara and operates flights from Bombay to Chicago with two stops at Delhi and Doha. Flight UK950 operates the BOM-DEL route, and then the flight itinerary continues as DEL-DOH-ORD. This flight has its price starting from INR 113083.
Qatar Airways also operates Bombay-San Diego flights with two stops connection at Doha and San Francisco Airport. Traveling to San Diego on Qatar Airways involves a connection with its partner airlines at the port of entry in the US. It offers BOM-DOH-SFO-SAN flights at a price starting from INR 165143. Similarly, it offers connection flights to Los Angeles, Tampa, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, San Antonio, Santa Ana, Orlando, Charlotte, St. Louis, Dallas, Louisville, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Austin, Columbus, Phoenix, Raleigh, Miami, Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, Washington, Seattle, Houston, Kansas, Rochester, Nashville, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, etc.
At one time, Delta Air Lines was also the operator of India to USA flights and followed the trend of offering nonstop flights to India and back and grabbed a fair share of the India-USA market. In 2019, Delta launched its first-ever nonstop service between New York and Mumbai to enforce fair competition in international travel and offer a wide range of choices for customers traveling between the United States and India. It also expanded its national footprint in India by offering flight services to Chennai International Airport and Indira Gandhi International Airport.
TATA SIA Airlines, Vistara is the latest entrant in the India-USA route, and it has been gearing up to start US flights for quite a long period. Still, the delay in delivery of Boeing 787 aircraft has hurdled its long-haul network expansion. It has already received a regulatory go-ahead from FAA to enter the long-haul US market from India, yet the shortage of aircraft has pushed back the timeline of US flights. Vistara plans to operate Boeing 787 on India-US flights offering three cabin configurations to Indian and US travelers.
Most popular India to USA flights
Besides Delhi-New York, the other most popular route for India to USA flights is Mumbai-New York which connects the financial capitals of two large trade partners and bolsters competition, choice, and options for US and Indian travelers. The carrier serving Mumbai-New York routes are:
- British Airways (stopover at Delhi and London)
- Emirates Airlines (2 stop points at Dubai and Milan)
- Qatar Airways (with a one-stop connection to Doha)
- American Airlines (with a stopover at Delhi)
- Gulf Air (stopover at Bahrain and London)
- Air France (one stop at Charles de Gaulle Airport)
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (stopover at CDG)
- Egyptair (with a stopover at Cairo)
- Delta Air Lines (with a one-stop connection at CDG)
- Turkish Airlines (connection to Istanbul)
- Kenya Airways (with a stopover at Nairobi)
- Lufthansa (Frankfurt as a stopping point)
- Etihad Airways (one-stop connection to Abu Dhabi)