United Airlines today announced its largest ever international network expansion from its hub at San Francisco International Airport. The airline will offer Bay Area customers nonstop year-round service to Toronto and Melbourne, Australia and seasonal service to New Delhi. United also announced it will begin a second daily flight between San Francisco and Seoul, South Korea. All routes subject to government approvals. In addition to the new routes, in 2019, United will begin new year-round nonstop service between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand, Tahiti, French Polynesia and Amsterdam.
United’s new seasonal service between San Francisco and New Delhi enables business and leisure travelers nonstop access from the U.S. West Coast. The new flight will connect customers from more than 80 cities to India with just one stop in San Francisco. United currently offers nonstop service to Mumbai and New Delhi from New York/Newark. Seasonal service begins on December 5, 2019, with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
This will be the third flight by United to India. Fellow Star Alliance member and Indian national carrier Air India extensively services the United States with flights to New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco. Air India operates non-stop services between New Delhi and San Francisco, which began in December 2015 with 3x a week and ramped up to 6x a week in November 2016. The airline currently operates 9 times a week with a combination of B77L and B77W.
While the data declared by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India does not tell us how many passengers fly between the two cities, but it fairly tells us how many passengers Air India is carrying since it is the only operator on the route. The airline has flown over 70,000 passengers each way over the last one year.
United will operate as below and effective 5th December 2019
UA104 SFO 1915 – 0045 (+2) DEL
UA105 DEL 0400 – 0610 SFO
With a lead time of close to an year, the airline will heavily market the flight and could be competitive option for the annual year end traffic.
The United Airlines B787-9 Dreamliner features 48 lie flat bed seats in Business Class, 88 seats in Economy Plus and 116 seats in Economy class.