Onsite: Delta Goes to India Non-Stop

Delta Air Lines eliminated the onerous connections through Europe by instituting the first non-stop flight between Mumbai and New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport Wednesday night. The historic flight was set to take off at 9:20 p.m. and arrive in India Thursday at 10:10 p.m. The return flight would depart Mumbai nearly two hours later at 12:10 a.m. and arrive back at JFK at 5:35 a.m. Indian tourism and Delta Air Lines officials feted the first flight at a midtown hotel Wednesday afternoon. Kingfisher Airlines partook in the celebration, as well. The airline inked a deal with Delta to provide timely connecting service between Mumbai International Airport and Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmadabad and Delhi starting in December. Although the two airlines will not code share, Kingfisher says that it will set up connecting service in a way so that Delta passengers wouldn't have to hassle with domestic terminals. So far, the new route seems a success for all involved, according to Robert J. Cortelyou, vice president for Delta who was at the event. In his remarks to those assembled, Cortelyou reported that, "bookings are looking extremely strong so far." So does the partnership between India, Kingfisher and Delta. When the emcee announced the reason for the party—to celebrate the teamwork between the trio—a congratulatory and unexpected roar arose from the crowd. Delta is not the first legacy carrier to fly non-stop to India. United Airlines and Continental Airlines fly non-stop to New Dehli.

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