More interline signings

Having restarted its non-stop Mumbai-New York JFK service from December 24, 2019, Delta Air Lines is looking at signing more interline agreements with Indian airlines.

Hazel Jain

Delta Air Lines recently made news by restarting its first non-stop flight from Mumbai to New York on December 24, 2019, making it India’s only non-stop 16-hour flight between the two hubs.

We will first develop and establish our interline agreements with Indian airlines and then explore codeshare with them

Jimmy Eichelgruen, Director Sales for Africa, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent, Delta Air Lines, was in Mumbai recently to announce this. These are 14 flights per week. The airline used to fly daily non-stop flights to India between 2006 and 2009 and changed it to a one-stop flight via Amsterdam until 2015. Eichelgruen said the airline would review the New York- Mumbai flight before adding more. It completes 25 years of catering to the India market.

The airline has an existing interline agreement —one in which a passenger on the itinerary of one airline can travel on its partner airline’s flight—with Air India and has just established an interline agreement with Vistara in December 2019. Eichelgruen said, “We are looking at other Indian airlines for interline agreements. As far as codeshare is concerned, we will first develop and establish our interline agreements with Indian airlines and once they progress and are stabilised, we will explore codeshare with them which allows airlines to share flight codes. But, of course, it has to work for us at various stages.”

In fact, Delta, through its transatlantic partners Air France- KLM and Virgin Atlantic, had deep commercial ties with Jet Airways which stopped flying since April. Delta also owns 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic. Delta Air Lines has also recently completed its purchase of a 20 per cent stake in LATAM for $2 billion. Moreover, Delta Air Lines and Korean Air have a joint venture partnership on transpacific routes that was signed in May 2018.

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