United Airlines completes a decade of nonstop flights between Delhi and New York/Newark this year

United Airlines completes a decade of nonstop flights between Delhi and New York/Newark this year

United Airlines will complete a decade of nonstop flights between Delhi and New York/Newark this year. The airline plans many customer and travel trade activities to celebrate 10th anniversary of its foray into India. In an interview with TnH, Harvinder Singh, Country Manager- India, United Airlines, speaks about his airline’s operation in India.

Q| Kindly throw light on United Airlines’ presence in Indian aviation market. How is your presence grown in this market in terms of market share and route expansion?
United Airlines has served India since 2005 and will mark a decade of nonstop flights between Delhi and New York/Newark later this year. We thank all of our customers from across India who have flown with us during this time and with their support, look forward to continued success for United in the Indian market.
Our daily nonstop services from Delhi and Mumbai to New York/Newark reflect the popular demand from travellers wishing to fly to the United States of America. Our services not only offer direct access to New York, but also an unparalleled range of connections via Newark to destinations throughout the Americas.

Q| What are the new initiatives you have undertaken recently for Indian market?
In the Indian market, as in all the markets we serve, we work closely with the travel agency community. One of my priorities is to ensure we keep the travel trade up to date with all of the changes and developments we have at United and to communicate the customer benefits of flying on our airline. As we build up to marking a decade of serving the Indian market, we are planning a number of customer and travel trade activities to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. These are set to take place in the second half of the year.

Q| What are the new in-flight services in your flights operating on Indian routes?
From August this year our BusinessFirst customers will receive newly redesigned United amenity kits featuring Cowshed brand premium skin-care products. These kits will contain Cowshed’s moisturising hand cream, natural lip balm and refreshing towelette in addition to a variety of other items so our customers can arrive feeling refreshed. Available on all aircraft flying from Mumbai and Delhi to New York, United BusinessFirst offers a superior service with a seat that reclines 180 degrees into a lie-flat bed, and features a personal on-demand entertainment system with a 15.4-inch/39-cm touch screen monitor, noise-reduction headsets, laptop power and USB ports.
In June 2015, United introduced a significantly upgraded food and beverage experience for Economy customers on our long-haul international flights, with a new, high-quality in-flight dining service. Economy travellers can enjoy a flavorful, multi-course meal with complimentary beer and wine. United Economy also offers complimentary in flight entertainment, whilst customers in United Economy Plus can relax with extra legroom and increased personal space.
Improvements in our in flight product also include the introduction of satellite-based Wi-Fi to enable travelers to access their emails and download content in flight via their personal devices. United’s mainline fleet is expected to be fitted with Wi-Fi by the end of 2015, and over 80% of planned installations are currently complete.

Q| What are the new marketing initiatives for Indian market?
United continues to invest in technology that puts flight information and transactions at customers’ fingertips, with apps that enable mobile bookings, status updates, check-in, boarding passes and more. This allows customers greater control of their travel experience and world-wide there are more than 20 million users of our award-winning and user-friendly mobile app.

Q| Kindly share your insights of Indian aviation market.
The Indian market is important to United, and we have offered nonstop service to customers across India for almost ten years. We are pleased with the performance of our Mumbai-New York and Delhi-New York flights and expect the Indian market to continue to perform well. While it is our company policy not to publish traffic data for individual routes, load factors on our Indian routes are broadly in line with those for our trans-Atlantic routes as a whole – 85.3 per cent for June 2015.

Q| According to you, how is this market different from other markets such as the U.S? What are the challenges in this market that need to be addressed?
Every market we serve is different. United is a full-service carrier and we are targeting the Indian corporate travel market, particularly with our award-winning BusinessFirst product, but are committed to providing the best travel experience to all of our customers flying to and from India. In India, as in any market, the actual mix of business to leisure traffic varies from month to month.
As many of our passengers travel through the gateway cities of Delhi and Mumbai from other parts of India, we have also tried to ensure our onboard food offerings represent cuisine from across India and are not restricted to one location.

"One of my priorities is to ensure we keep the travel trade up to date with all of the changes and developments we have at United and to communicate the customer benefits of flying on our airline."

Harvinder Singh Country Manager- India, United Airlines

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