Delta Air Lines is relaunching service to Mumbai.
The Atlanta-based airline launches flights to Mumbai from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday Dec. 22. It will operate the service with a Boeing 777-200LR jet.
The airline previously flew to Mumbai from New York and from Atlanta, but discontinued the service in 2009 amid a recession.
The airline later offered service between Amsterdam and Mumbai, but discontinued that route as well and hasn’t flown to India since 2015.
Delta initially said it was considering launching the service to Mumbai from Atlanta or New York, but ultimately chose New York.
The company said this week that it chose New York because it is the largest U.S. market to India, and also cited Delta’s large presence in New York and improvements in JFK airport facilities.
Delta said the new flights will add cargo capacity in a new market for exports from India such as pharmaceuticals, automobile parts, perishables and courier shipments.
In the past, Delta has said competition from foreign carriers made flights to Mumbai difficult to sustain.
The airline said in 2015 that it “was forced to exit the market after subsidized state-owned airlines made service economically unviable,” and announced the new service last year in the wake of U.S. agreements reached with Qatar and United Arab Emirates aimed at resolving those issues.
In 2012, when Delta was challenging the practices of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the company blamed the discontinuation of its Mumbai route on an Ex-Im subsidy to Air India that allowed Air India to “flood the U.S.-India market.”
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