United Airlines has postponed its new long-haul service between San Francisco and Bangalore even further.
The service, especially targeting tech visitors from the Bay Area looking to fly to India’s growing tech hub, United is moving around the flight as corporate travel and the international flight has brought a hit from the current wave of cases almost the world.
San Francisco International Airport
- In schedules filed over the weekend at Cerium and viewed at United’s website, the airline has pushed before the launch of what will be the carrier’s longest route from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) in Bangalore, India. Initially scheduled on May 6th, the service will now launch on October 28th with a Boeing 787-9.
United’s recent schedule sees SFO-BLR launch with daily operations. The airline has postponed the launch of scheduled flights between the two airports a few periods since the route was first launched. The latest push will postpone one of the most highly-anticipated new nonstop routes out of the United States.
The 787-9s that United will operate on the route have room for 257 passengers. This includes 48 in the airline’s latest Polaris business class hard product that offers a lie-flat seat and direct aisle access for all passengers.
Following this are 21 premium economy seats, which are branded as Premium Plus. Following this are 39 extra-legroom economy seats and 149 standard economy seats. WiFi, power, and seatback entertainment are available to all passengers.
United Airlines first declared flights between SFO and BLR in September of 2020. The airline declared the route as part of a new expansion that targeted Africa, India, and Hawaii. Bangalore was initially set to launch in the spring of 2021 operating a Boeing 787-9 with daily service.
US airline flying between India and
United has long been the biggest US airline flying between India and the United States. In December of 2020, it established a recent flight between Chicago and New Delhi.
Meanwhile, San Francisco acquired flights to New Delhi in 2019, with Bangalore becoming the second destination United would serve in India from San Francisco.
The route is heavily reliant on corporate travel. Connecting two main tech hubs, United is expecting that higher-yield business travelers will support push the route to profitability by offering a convenient, nonstop way to get between the two cities.
It would also allow blunt against any loss of traffic from American’s declared Seattle to Bangalore flight, which has also been postponed.
Corporate travel is yet to make a complete comeback and will probably take some more time to come back. The current uncertainty surrounding the global health situation has delayed some recoveries to the office and left some major corporate companies wary about sending their employees back on the road.
United will continue to offer flights to Bangalore via a link, primarily through Europe on its partners in Lufthansa, until the needed environment becomes favorable for the new nonstop route to launch.
Nonstop ultra-long-haul flights are not an easy launch for any airline. Between the prices of working the service and the needed commitment of assets, United is waiting for a good time to launch the route. The present delay indicates that United is feeling less sure of the return of corporate travel to bolster the route in the nearer period. However, as is offered from the United launch to Singapore, the airline is ready to get flights up if the needed environment materializes.
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Air India first launched flights in
While United Airlines is not operating the nonstop flight, Air India is. Through the end of March, Air India has scheduled a single weekly flight between SFO and BLR using a Boeing 777-200LR. In late March, that increases to two flights per week. Air India’s 777-200LRs feature 238 seats onboard, including eight in first class, 35 in business, and 195 in economy class.
Air India first launched flights in January 2021 between these two routes. The route reached after United declared it would launch service on the route. While both airlines are part of the Star Alliance, Air India and United do not nearly cooperate, however.
United Airlines is not giving up on the route, but it is being real about the overall need environment and recognizing the limitations of launching the route in time for the summer.
United is always betting on the transatlantic routes it declared in October, which are targeting more leisure-oriented travelers over business ones.
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