American Airlines' India nonstops from Seattle are now on sale
American Airlines has set the date for its return to India with new nonstop service to the technology hub of Bangalore.
The Oneworld alliance carrier will begin daily service between Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) and Bangalore (BLR) on Oct. 25, according to Cirium schedules and confirmed by American. Tickets for the flights on Boeing 787-9 jets, which are outfitted with 30 business class, 21 premium economy, 36 extra-legroom economy and 198 economy seats, are now on sale.
American last served India in 2012 when it ended flights between Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Delhi (DEL).
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American's new Bangalore flights are part of a renewed partnership with Alaska Airlines. As part of the pact, the carriers are codesharing on both domestic and international flights from Los Angeles (LAX) and Seattle -- Alaska's hometown -- and stopped a planned roll back of their previously relationship due to occur on March 1.
“Seattle is really the only market we see from the U.S. that can fly Bangalore and make it a success," American senior vice president of network strategy Vasu Raja told TPG in February. He added that the flight will benefit from codeshare connections to more than 350 Alaska-operated flights from Seattle.
When asked about the return to the market, Raja described the U.S.-India market as "much more mature" today than when American ended service to Delhi.
Related: Alaska Airlines plans to join Oneworld, forms alliance with American
American is set up for a potential robust international expansion in 2020. The airline's first-ever service to Africa connecting its Philadelphia (PHL) hub and a fellow Oneworld hub Casablanca (CMN) begins in June, and it will return to Tel Aviv (TLV) from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) in September.
Storm clouds, however, are looming. American has suspended flights to China, Hong Kong (HKG) and Milan (MXP) amid a drop in demand as fears of COVID-19, a disease in the coronavirus family, have risen. The spread of the disease in the U.S. has raised concerns that a similar drop in demand could occur domestically as well
American, prior to the coronavirus-related fears, had planned to grow system capacity by 4-5% year-over-year in 2020.
Related: Could the coronavirus end the decade-long U.S. airline expansion?
Now that the route is on sale, travelers hoping to fly on one of American’s first Bangalore flights can price out itineraries.
A November round-trip from Seattle to Bangalore and back showed coach fares beginning at $1,376 and premium economy fares of $2,026. Business-class seats were going for $5,119 and up, according to a search of American’s website. A spot check of fares on connecting itineraries showed slightly lower coach and premium economy fares, though business-class fares tended to track a bit higher.
Frequent flyers looking for award space will likely find plentiful coach and premium economy availability, though business-class was spottier except for on connecting itineraries that route a traveler over Seattle to Bangalore.
Economy tickets to Bangalore from Seattle begin at 40,000 miles each way, while MileSAAver business fares are available for 70,000 miles each way. Anytime business awards priced between 155,000 and 180,000 miles each way during November.
More:The 10 longest (and 10 shortest) American Airlines flights
American customers hoping to redeem systemwide upgrades to move to business class also should find plenty of upgrade space, according to a TPG look at American’s flight schedule.
Contributing: Zach Griff, TPG