United Airlines is suspending two India routes as it evaluates the feasibility of operating these routes while avoiding Russian airspace.
With Russian Airspace In Question, United Airlines Suspends Two India Routes
At his State of the Union address on Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that Aeroflot and other Russian airlines would no longer be permitted to serve the Untied States or utilize U.S. airspace. While Moscow did not immediately retaliate by blocking U.S. carriers from using Russian airspace, United Airlines has voluntarily suspended its use of Russian airspace on flights to India. Without Russian overflights, United is suspending two flights to India.
In a memo to employees, United said:
“United has decided to temporarily suspend transiting Russian airspace to operate our flights to and from BOM (Mumbai) and DEL (Delhi) India. While some routes are possible to fly, we are unable to operate our full India operation.”
In the days leading up to this announcement, United has taken heat for continuing to use Russian airspace on two routes, but will now suspend those routes, including:
- San Francisco (SFO) – New Delhi (DEL)
- Newark (EWR) – Mumbai (BOM)
These routes will be “cancelled for the next few days” as United evaluates alternative routing, which might include a technical stop enroute for refueling. Using Russian airspace cost United less than $4,000 per flight, a relative bargain compared to the additional fuel that will now be required to avoid Russian overflights.
United also warns, “We may have additional adjustments to our flight schedule for India in the days ahead as the situation develops, but we remain in close communication with our crews in India.”
Flights to New Delhi from Chicago (ORD) and Newark will continue.
United Airlines is suspending two routes to India as it re-evaluates service without utilizing Russian airspace. If your travel includes either cancelled routes, United will proactively rebook you on another routing or you can reach out to reservations to discuss your options.
image: United Airlines