This news passed us by when it was announced recently, but American Airlines has confirmed a delay to its new service to India.

Launch of AA Bangalore - Seattle flights is deferred

American announced a new Bangalore - Seattle service in February, saying India was a “grossly underserved market”.

The original plan was to start daily flights between the two cities in October 2020, though the start date has now been deferred. American Airlines says it is delaying the start of a number of new routes as it cuts capacity to address “record low customer demand” prompted by coronavirus.

The Bangalore service will now launch in winter 2021, as will American’s new flights from Dallas to Auckland, and to Christchurch from Los Angeles. Other new services impacted include Philadelphia to Casablanca; Chicago to Krakow; Boston to London; and Dallas to Tel Aviv. AA said:

“American will suspend more than 60% of its total international capacity this summer compared to the same peak period in 2019, which includes an 80% reduction in Pacific capacity, 65% reduction in Atlantic capacity and 48% reduction in Latin America capacity. These changes are due to significantly decreased customer demand as well as government travel restrictions — both related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

We previously noted how the flights to Seattle would continue to Los Angeles, providing an opportunity to get cheaper business class tickets.

AA - Alaska Airlines partnership

The Bangalore - Seattle service was announced alongside a new partnership between American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, which is joining the oneworld network by summer 2021.

At the same time, American said it would launch a Seattle - London Heathrow in March 2021. Vasu Raja, AA’s senior vice president of network strategy, commented:

“India is a grossly underserved market, despite the number of businesses with a major presence in both India and the West Coast. By adding Seattle to Bangalore, we’re giving customers from more than 70 U.S. cities access to India in one stop or less — versus the two, three or four stops they’d have to make to get there in the past.”

Ben Minicucci, president of Alaska Airlines, added: “International service to global business and tech hubs Heathrow and Bangalore is a tremendous win for the growing Seattle region and the West Coast.”

Summing up

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on airlines around the world, and it’s no surprise to see that ambitious new routes are the first to be cut from schedules.

We’ve already noted that Virgin Atlantic is scrapping a planned Delhi-Manchester service, there is no start date for an earlier announced Lufthansa service from Bangalore to Munich, and now American Airlines says it is putting its plan for new flights to India on ice.

Fingers crossed that the Bangalore - Seattle flights do eventually happen.

Are you looking forward to flying to the West Coast of the USA from Bangalore with American Airlines?