From MSN money UAL news
By Aparna Kalra
NEW DELHI, Dec 20 (Reuters) - United Airlines (UAL), which plans to re-enter the Indian market after an almost two-year gap, is in talks with Air India over a code-share alliance, a United official said on Wednesday.
The U.S.-based airline, the world's largest, and Air India [AI.UL] had a code-share arrangement before United withdrew from the Indian market in 1999, citing the Asian economic recession.
"United and Air India are evaluating the possibility of a code-share arrangement," said Michael Purchon, United Airlines general manager for India. United also plans to start a double daily flight from New Delhi in April 2001, he said.
An Air India spokesman said the Indian flag airline was also keen on a code-share arrangement, which allows airlines to sell seats on each other's flights.
Neither gave further details.
Air India, which operates 10 flights from India to the United States, has registered good passenger loads on this route. The state-owned airline is keen to add new services to the United States but is hamstrung by its small 24-aircraft fleet.
New Delhi will be one stop on United's round-the-world service which starts in April next year. It plans to link Washington, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, New Delhi and London through the service.
"Most people just want to go from one destination to the other and not travel around the world. So we are telling them about our convenient connections, rather than playing up the round the world part," Purchon said.
United's entry into India will add over 5,000 seats per week to the country's total airline seat availability of 117,000.
© 2000 Reuters
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