Last year, United had announced the launch of a seasonal service between Delhi and San Francisco. It was after a very long time that United added a new route to India.
The first flight is scheduled to take off on December 5, 2019. The route will be operated by a premium heavy Boeing 787-9. United’s Boeing 789s features 48 Business Class seats, 88 Economy Plus seats and 116 Economy seats. Now, United has decided that this flight will be a year-round operation rather than a seasonal route operating just in the Winter Schedule.
United’s Boeing 787-9 doesn’t feature the new Polaris business class seats yet. Instead, it has the BE Aerospace Diamond seats. The Economy class is in a 3-3-3 layout. United does have 13 Boeing 787-9 on order to be delivered in 2020 which may feature the new Polaris Business class seats.
UA104 SFO1915-0045(+2)DEL 789 D
UA105 DEL0400-0610SFO 789 D
Both AI173 AND UA105 will depart New Delhi at the same time for San Fransisco.
The Delhi/San Francisco route has witnessed significant growth in recent years. Delhi San Francisco Air India flights were launched to operate three times a week in December 2015 and then doubled to 6 times a week in November 2016. Air India further increased it to nine times a week in March 2018.
Now, with United entering the fray for a daily frequency, the number of flights on this route weekly will go up from 9 to 16.
This route has been a success for Air India, who has nurtured the route since the beginning. We need to see now with an established competitor entering the market, will there be enough room for both, or will the entry of United cause Air India to give up some of its’ success on this route. Time will tell.