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Direct Flights From North America To India  
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2147 posts, RR: 15
Posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8604 times:

This forum concerns some confusion I have discovered over the evolution of direct, nonstop service to India from North America. The earliest carrier to ever launch such a route was Air Canada, which commenced operations from YYZ to DEL in 2003. AC started this route with an A340-300 aircraft, which people thought would be a sure money maker because of the huge Indian population in Toronto and the convenience of bypassing Europe. The service, (correct me if I am wrong) was operated 3X weekly.

However, in 2005, Air Canada re-adjusted the route to fly YYZ-ZRH-DEL on a 767-300 aircraft for two purposes. One was to be able to sustain a year-round schedule to Zurich from Toronto, and the other was to be able to begin providing daily service to Delhi. I guess Air Canada felt that it could fly full loads on both segments (i.e. kill two birds with one stone, no pun intended) AS WELL AS redeploy the 343 to use for new markets in South America.

About or around this time (November '05), both Continental and American launched service from EWR and ORD, respectively, to Delhi two weeks apart from each other. Both carriers have retained this nonstop, daily service and CO has also launched a route to BOM.

In early 2007, Air Canada axed the route from ZRH to DEL, cutting off service to India entirely. They cited that demand was at an uncontrollable level during winter/peak travel periods but sluggish during the summer, and wanted to focus on China instead. In order to still keep a commitment to India, AC has codeshare agreements with Jet Airways since the latter operates a flight to Toronto via Brussels. Additionally, LHR has services to several Canadian cities on AC as well as service to Delhi, Mumbai, and Amritsar on Jet so it can facilitate those connections easily.

Now, AI has launched direct service from JFK to DEL and BOM, Kingfisher plans to start serving SFO and DEL direct from several Indian cities, Jet Airways has flights to JFK via BRU, and many more expansions are currently in planning or on the way. Yet, I flew the AI 102 flight from JFK to DEL the other day and there were only 46 PAX on the entire 772-LR aircraft. How, then, are they expecting to earn money with such awful loads?

The bottom line is, what has made it work for the U.S. but not for Canada?


next flights: msp-phx-slc, msp-mdw, ord-sju, sju-dfw-ord, msp-dfw, dfw-phl, phl-msp, jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg
44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJaysan From India, joined Apr 2008, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8546 times:

I am sure cargo has something to do with it.

User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11383 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8453 times:



Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The bottom line is, what has made it work for the U.S. but not for Canada?

Not sure about the specifics of the performance of Canada- vs. U.S.-India nonstops, however I do know that the unit profitability of flights from the West to India has fallen substantially in the last five years, not just on nonstops from the U.S., but also on Europe-India flights, and it has affected everyone including AA, Continental and Delta, plus the European carriers (that used to dominate U.S.-India traffic), and the rapidly-expanding Indian carriers.

As more and more seats have come into the market, as India has opened up, airlines have seen a downward pressure on unit yields.

In reference to your specific question: perhaps Air Canada just felt the downward yield pressure was no longer worth it.


User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2950 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8407 times:



Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
Yet, I flew the AI 102 flight from JFK to DEL the other day and there were only 46 PAX on the entire 772-LR aircraft. How, then, are they expecting to earn money with such awful loads?

AI is operating a daily flight to JFK from DEL, one instance of you traveling on one sector does not determine the overall load factor. The inbound flight maybe full to JFK .... or the very sector on the next day may have good loads.

Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The bottom line is, what has made it work for the U.S. but not for Canada?

Good question I'm keen on knowing this as well. Did AC have issues in filling the premium class?



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineAS739X From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8376 times:



Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):

On top of Kingfisher from SFO, Air India is also looking to add SFO non-stop when they have the 77L for it.

ASSFO



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3206 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8362 times:

And it's quite likely that we'll see some airlines withdraw on this market (esp due to the sky high fuel prices). As with all markets, with capacity building out, yields are going to fall, and airlines need to figure out whether they think the market is worth it or not. And with Airlines like IT going to further add to the capacity, it's not surprising to expect that yields drop further.

That being said, I believe non-stop flights will ultimately win out over one-stop flights on the India - North America sector. The big loosers will be operators offering 2-3 stop flights (you'd be surprised at the number of such services).



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User currently offlineYULYMX From Canada, joined May 2006, 977 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8292 times:



Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):

AC also use the A345 on that nonstop route


User currently offlineIluv747400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8177 times:

In April 1999, United Airlines ended its round-the-world service to Delhi from London and Hong Kong, announcing that non-stop service from Chicago would begin in October. The flight did not materialize, however, as those plans were scrapped in June. In August 2001, United again announced plans to introduce non-stop service from Chicago to Delhi, but they were again scrapped due to 9/11.

User currently offlineWindowSeat From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1311 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8027 times:



Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The earliest carrier to ever launch such a route was Air Canada, which commenced operations from YYZ to DEL in 2003.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Delta Air Lines and Northwest so far. I'm not sure about Northwest, but as for Delta, they operated the flight well before 2002 and in fact in March 2002 it was moved from a JFK-FRA-BOM service to JFK-CDG-BOM service. Delta Air Lines was also the first carrier ever to fly nonstop between North America and India with it's inaugural service from New York-JFK to Mumbai on November 1, 2006.

cheers,
WindowSeat



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2950 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8022 times:



Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 8):
Delta Air Lines was also the first carrier ever to fly nonstop between North America and India with it's inaugural service from New York-JFK to Mumbai on November 1, 2006.

That is absolutely wrong. They may be the first 'Direct' flight operators but not non stop.

The first ever nonstop flight from US to India was on November 1 2005 by Continental Airlines, CO 082 EWR - DEL.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlinePanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4860 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7992 times:
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Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 8):
Delta Air Lines was also the first carrier ever to fly nonstop between North America and India with it's inaugural service from New York-JFK to Mumbai on November 1, 2006.

No, Delta's was the first nonstop USA to BOM flight, on Nov 1 2006, but not the first nonstop USA-India.


User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 37
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7975 times:
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Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 8):
Delta Air Lines was also the first carrier ever to fly nonstop between North America and India with it's inaugural service from New York-JFK to Mumbai on November 1, 2006.

United States maybe, North America no.

Air Canada flew to DEL from YYZ non-stop 2003-2005 (with 343 and 345), then it swtiched to YYZ-ZRH-DEL.
Canada 3000 also flew it non-stop (with 343) before they went bust for a (very) short time.

Jet and AI have both expressed some interest in fly to YYZ non-stop... however i think Jet is more than happy with it's scissor hubs and AI is short ULH planes.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24629 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 7651 times:



Quoting Ojas (Reply 3):
Quoting IrishAyes (Thread starter):
The bottom line is, what has made it work for the U.S. but not for Canada?

Good question I'm keen on knowing this as well. Did AC have issues in filling the premium class?

I'm sure that was a major reason. There's much more high yield business traffic to/from the U.S. Canada-India is mostly very price-sensitive ethnic VFR (visit friends and relatives) traffic, and there is a huge amount of competition with almost all European and Asian carriers serving Canada also operating to India. It's also a seasonal market. AC has more lucrative opportunities than India.

As a sidenote, AC had announced nonstop YVR-DEL A340-300 service to begin in late 2001 but it was cancelled before it started in the wake of 9/11.


User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 38
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 7632 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 12):

I'm sure that was a major reason. There's much more high yield business traffic to/from the U.S. Canada-India is mostly very price-sensitive ethnic VFR (visit friends and relatives) traffic, and there is a huge amount of competition with almost all European and Asian carriers serving Canada also operating to India. It's also a seasonal market. AC has more lucrative opportunities than India.

I would also suggest that the VFR traffic originating from the US is composed of wealthier passengers. Indians are the wealthiest ethnic group in the US per capita. Lots of immigrant and 1st generation physicians of Indian descent in the US, and they make much more money than their Canadian counterparts. Lot's of well off engineers as well.

[Edited 2008-05-27 16:50:29]


ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 878 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7388 times:

So now we have AA, NW, DL and CO flying to India? To/From which cities?
I guess from ORD for AA, JFK for DL, EWR for CO and AMS for NW?


User currently offlinePNQIAD From India, joined May 2006, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7369 times:



Quoting AirGabon (Reply 14):

AA ORD-DEL
CO EWR-DEL
CO EWR-BOM
AI JFK-DEL
AI JFK-BOM
DL JFK-BOM

NW does not have a non-stop USA-India flight.


User currently offlineMk777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7330 times:



Quoting AirGabon (Reply 14):
AMS for NW?



Quoting PNQIAD (Reply 15):
NW does not have a non-stop USA-India flight.

You are both correct. the NW flight has a SEA-AMS-BOM routing.

I feel AI and 9W are not thinking out of the box. Instead of flying to other destinations in N. America, both are concentrating on the already saturated NY market. I have harped many times about them not starting some other cities which could be revenue earners for them. Already 9W is replacing their 77W with A332 on the DEL-BRU-JFK, has to be due to load, since they have enough 77W's (10) for launching the BOM-PVG-SFO route.

So, AI needs to shift some of its non-stops around, they have 5 77L's, 2 for BOM-JFK and 2 for DEL-JFK, if the loads aren't looking good on the flights, play with some routes, shift the BOM-JFK to BOM-ORD or IAH or IAD or YVR. I think things might start to look up then. Same for 9W, move the JFK flight to ORD or IAH, it might do wonders for thier loads and revenue. They wouldn't know unless they try. Its really time for the Indian carriers to move things arouond if they want a share of the N. American pie.



come fly with me
User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2950 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7301 times:

BOM - ORD , BLR - SFO are routes that needs to be started ASAP.

ORD does deserve a non stop from BOM



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1826 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7209 times:
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DL loads are very good with our JFK BOM route and now with the LR we are also carrying freight, we also just signed a new cargo contract out there too. The only negative is we are only one mechanical away from cancellation of the flight due shortage of 777's, and DL17 is on a pemanent delay due to one of the LR's going down last week with a ground damage.


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineWindowSeat From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1311 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7128 times:



Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 18):
and DL17 is on a pemanent delay due to one of the LR's going down last week with a ground damage.

whoa! Does that mean that one of the LR's has been subbed for an ER?? I'm going to BOM on DL 16 on June 5th and I would hate for it to be an ER. I'm really looking forward to trying out the flat-beds in BizElite.

cheers,
WindowSeat.



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
User currently offlineIrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2147 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7029 times:

I arrived on AI 101 from DEL at JFK this morning and our flight arrived simultaneously from AI 141 from BOM. Both aircraft probably brought no more than 50 PAX each this morning, and now that school has let out you would think that loads would be higher than when I flew outbound a week and a half back from JFK (which I mentioned previously was very light) but they were not. Going through immigration was a breeze, which was nice for us. Although I also noticed that the SAA flight arriving from JNB/DKR was also relatively empty...who knows?

I heard from an inside source at Air India is undergoing corporate restructuring and I am pretty sure that they are going to have to readjust these routes fairly soon if the yield does not improve. Perhaps they will combine the routes to do something like BOM-JFK-DEL-BOM or something to that effect on a single aircraft and redeploy the other two on more profitable routes. The 77L are amazing nonetheless. How come they still link their Toronto flight through Birmingham instead of flying directly to BOM, DEL or Amritsar?



next flights: msp-phx-slc, msp-mdw, ord-sju, sju-dfw-ord, msp-dfw, dfw-phl, phl-msp, jfk-icn, icn-hkg-bkk-cdg
User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3089 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6987 times:



Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 20):
How come they still link their Toronto flight through Birmingham instead of flying directly to BOM, DEL or Amritsar?

Because of the Punjabi community linked thru' UK - Canada - India (DEL/ARTQ).....


User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6987 times:



Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 19):

Quoting FlyDeltaJets (Reply 18):
and DL17 is on a pemanent delay due to one of the LR's going down last week with a ground damage.

whoa! Does that mean that one of the LR's has been subbed for an ER?? I'm going to BOM on DL 16 on June 5th and I would hate for it to be an ER. I'm really looking forward to trying out the flat-beds in BizElite.

that is nonsense.

The reason why DL 16 and 17 face delays when there are mechanical problems is because DL operates the longest scheduled flight by a US airline and there are requirements that DL and the FAA agreed to regarding crew rest time. Whenever there is a delay on one leg, DL cannot take delay time out of the pilot crew rest time as often happens on delayed flights. The minimum rest time on the 16+ hr flights is longer and not subject to reduction when problems arise.

DL made the agreement with the FAA because they didn't want to buy airplanes that their pilots would not fly without onerous restrictions or the FAA would require cumbersome regulations to operate.

Delays when they occur are due to crew rest delays, not a shortage of aircraft. The LRs right now sit for 14 hrs on the ground at JFK; that is more than enough time to make up for delays if crew rest wasn't part of the equation.

As the only LR operator or customer in the US, it is likely that you will see many more ULH flights by Delta, including to other points in India from other gateways in the US.

And one more thing..... info tells me that DL has yet to operate the LR to its full maximum takeoff weight despite carrying full passenger loads and as much cargo as they can pack into the LR's holds. The plane has incredible range and it has yet to be fully utilized. Other carriers will take payload restrictions and face diversions much more likely than DL will with the LR.


User currently offlineLAXDESI From United States of America, joined May 2005, 5086 posts, RR: 48
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6986 times:



Quoting Ojas (Reply 17):
BOM - ORD , BLR - SFO are routes that needs to be started ASAP.

ORD does deserve a non stop from BOM

AI should look at BOM-ORD non-stop for its O&D potential. It also helps that ORD is a major UA hub. Another possibility is BOM-LAX.

I don't see how AI will survive against IT on the BLR-SFO sector. Better to leave that sector to IT.


User currently offlineOjas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2950 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6986 times:



Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 23):
I don't see how AI will survive against IT on the BLR-SFO sector. Better to leave that sector to IT.

Maybe a DEL - SFO is needed then. But I must add that KF must put on its schedules immediately so as to get bookings from August end. When Jet introduced their EWR services, they had started advertising with their schedules at least - months before the launch or even more than 3 months.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
25 WindowSeat : You know, all that long winded answer, although very informative, doesn't answer my question!
26 Abrelosojos : = Yields have fallen dramatically on India-US flights. This is most witnessed in the NYC-BOM sector where there has been a dramatic increase in capac
27 AirCanada014 : Believe it or not AC flew to India in early or mid 80s from YYZ-LHR-BOM-SIN. I think they operated B742 and L1011? We have huge Indian-Canadian's livi
28 Ojas : Well it's not that I'm fantasizing this link, but as per some observations of the passenger numbers flying out of BLR towards SFO does make this rout
29 Nimish : Well - take the DRAMATIC improvement in AI's service on the ULHs, throw in the implicit benefit they're likely to have due to a more efficient a/c, a
30 LAXDESI : I think IT will have the edge with corporate clients. I also wonder if BOM-JFK non-stop was the right choice for AI. Having lived in NJ for for years
31 Ojas : Have they tied up with any major company in SFO? If so please let me know. No it was not the wrong choice. Yes a BOM-EWR could do well but then IMO A
32 Viscount724 : I can only recall AC using the L1011-500 on that route but they may also have used 747s for a while. That route never made much sense as there was ve
33 Gr8Circle : Any political party that does that will lose the next elections... AI may be privatised, but sale to a foreign carrier by the GoI is quite unlikely..
34 WorldTraveler : window seat, DL does not lock any plane to any route. If it is necessary to sub an ER for an LR or an LR for an ER, they will do it to maintain the sc
35 Gr8Circle : I recall seeing an AC 747 at DEL in the mid-90's.....
36 LAXDESI : I agree that Star Alliance membership may make AI more competitive. However, it has been losing market share to other Indian carriers in the domestic
37 Post contains links LAXDESI : Thread on IT's BLR-SFO/JFK non-stop flights. http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...eneral_aviation/read.main/4004130/
38 Manny : True dat!!
39 Viscount724 : Probably a charter or other special flight. I don't think AC had scheduled service to India then.
40 Gr8Circle : Oh yes, they definitely did!!
41 Viscount724 : What was the intermediate stop n the YYZ-DEL route when they were operating 747s in the mid-1990s? I just can't recall that route.
42 Gr8Circle : Don't really know, but it would have been either LHR or FRA....
43 Viscount724 : Perhaps one of the other AC experts can confirm details of AC's operations to DEL in the 1990s. The only LHR-India AC route I recall was the earlier
44 NorthStarDC4M : October 1994: YYZ-FRA-DEL AC894 1x week 747, YVR-LHR-DEL AC897 4x week 74E June 1996: YVR-LHR-DEL AC897 2x week 74E June 1997: YVR-LHR-DEL AC897 2x we
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