Disclaimer: I already pointed out that I don't work in the industry so if I'm wrong, whatever. However, what I can also tell you about this route:
1. EWR-BOM was actually one of the earlier 773ER route implementations for the new hard product. IIRC, there weren't many since it was a slow roll out and few planes but EWR-BOM made the cut.
1. It was the third 77W route from EWR iirc (I think NRT and TLV were first)
2. Yes, there are a lot of rich Indian people in NJ but knowing my Brother-In-Law and my Sister, they buy a ticket based on cost of ticket to India. Not to say the whole Indian population in NJ is like this but typically if it isn't the cheapest option, they won't fly it. Giant Indian population or not, US carriers flying to India over the last decade have been highly problematic and have been mostly dropped. And I typically b*tch the two of them out because they always fly ME3 to get there.
2. I am also Indian. I personally have paid more to fly non-stop to Mumbai. I know many who have as well. There is a large enough diaspora that UA/CO has been able to keep this flying at a time no other American carrier could manage a flight to India because they can command a premium and people (including Indian VFR even) will pay it
3. The 773ER from the 772ER was an influx in seat configuration compared to the former. Perhaps the J-Cabin space was ready for the route and coach wasn't based on capacity (or vise-versa).
3. Not sure what you're after here. Have you seen the LF on the route? Anyway, the 77W is also a more efficient plane at that stage length
4. So, I've heard this "Mystery" and/or "Fake News" corporate contract thing before on other routes but who exactly? Deloitte? One or more of the "Big 4" firms?" with Data Warehouses in India? I would just love to know because I've seen this theory float around before with zero evidence.
4. This one baffles me. I've personally negotiated corporate contracts with airlines, these are not 'fake news'. Sorry if you can't realize that there might be a lot of corporations sending passengers from NY to the largest financial and business hub in India. Ever large bank that has giant offices up and down Manhattan and Hoboken now have middle and back offices in India, many in Mumbai or Navi Mumbai. Then you lay on top the Big-4, or even a Tata or Infosys that have offices in NY/NJ.
5. Fly Over Pakistani Airspace? Seriously? I actually avoided going to India because I didn't want to fly over that country since Indian's and Pakistani's tend to hate each other.
5. Good for you. UA (and guess what many other airlines) have flown over Pakistani airspace for decades into India
6. There is a TON of competition flying to India out EWR and JFK. High Indian population doesn't matter, just ask how Alitalia does with NJ having a high Italian Population. Or even how SAS flies to all 3 Scandinavian countries from EWR right now (and on and off since the Early 1990s) with a relatively low Scandinavian population in NJ (or diluted since there are so many people there.) Population density doesn't really matter, especially on a ULH route. The only big exception relating to NJ (I grew up there) would be TAP or LOT.
6. Well, apparently it does, because outside of the Bay Area, NY is the only region that has supported non-stop travel to India, and not just these UA flights, but AI flights to DEL/BOM and its good enough that Delta is finally wading back into the mix.
Look we can argue back and forth, but sumply put, this route has been viable for a long time. It consistently is ~200-400 more than 1-stop options and has sold enough in J and Y that UA has flown it, upgauged it, and never had a service interruption aside from these geopolitical issues that have made it un-viable. AI may be fine with the economics of having to do a tech stop in Vienna each day. UA is not.
Last edited by dmstorm22
on Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.