American Airlines postpones launch of Seattle-Bengaluru flight

In February 2020, American Airlines said it planned to operate a 285-seater Boeing 787-9 aircraft on the Seattle-Bengaluru route.
| Photo Credit: AP

When announced in early 2020, the scheduled flight between Seattle and Bengaluru of American Airlines was supposed to be the first non-stop one between the city and the United States.

However, nearly four years later, the launch of this service, which was expected to meet corporate passengers’ demand for travel to Seattle and adjoining areas in the US, remains indefinitely postponed.

Original schedule

Originally scheduled to commence in October 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic put a break on its operations as only flights under the air bubble arrangements were allowed to operate on the international routes.

Though the Ministry of Civil Aviation opened up the international airspace on March 27, 2022, this route remained a non-starter due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent ban imposed by the US government over flying over Russian airspace.

American Airlines said that the safety of its customers and team members is the airline’s top priority and that as the Seattle-Bengaluru route requires its flights to fly over an airspace that is involved in a military conflict the route remains a non-starter.

Safety issue

“American Airlines has indefinitely postponed the launch of scheduled service between Seattle and Bengaluru, India. The safety of our customers and team members is America’s top priority. As this route requires flying through airspace currently involved in a military conflict, we postponed the flight out of an abundance of caution,” an American Airlines spokesperson told The Hindu.

A senior official from the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) said that flights between the two cities are unlikely to start any time soon as it would not be viable for US carriers to take a longer route by avoiding the Russian airspace.

When announced in February 2020, American Airlines said that it planned to operate a 285-seater Boeing 787-9 aircraft on this route.

BIAL had forecast that this new route would give passengers easier and faster access to San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Denver, Arizona, Dallas, Chicago, West Coast, and East states on a one-stop flight as compared to multiple stop overs in the past.

In 2021, Air India became the first airline to operate a non-stop flight between Bengaluru and the US when it launched a service to San Francisco.






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