American Airlines to start Seattle – Bangalore; big connectivity over Seattle
American Airlines will begin Seattle – Bangalore from October. It will be Seattle’s first service to India and North America’s only non-stop service to Bangalore, India’s ‘Silicon Valley’. It will mean that 15 non-stop routes across five airlines will operate between North America and India this year.
Bangalore highly desired by American’s corporate accounts
Operated by the 285-seat Boeing 787-9, American’s SVP of network strategy said that Bangalore is highly desired from its corporate accounts. Seattle – Bangalore will be about 1,000 miles shorter non-stop each way than over Dubai with airport-pair leader Emirates. It will mark the first time American Airlines has returned to India since 2012.
Two primary sources of demand
There will be two primary sources of demand and a potential third:
- Local Seattle – Bangalore – Seattle passengers: 36,000 in the year to November 2019
- Those transiting over Seattle (beyond/behind) with Alaska Airlines, which will join oneworld from 2021 and therefore become closer to American Airlines
- Seattle – India traffic generally, depending on commercial agreements, with over 170,000 passengers carried. OAG Traffic Analyser shows that Bangalore is Seattle’s fourth-largest Indian market, behind Delhi (59,000), Hyderabad (38,000), and Mumbai (37,000).
At the time of writing, Seattle – Bangalore timings aren’t known, so it’s not possible to analyse all potential connections, traffic, and fares over Seattle. However, the Washington airport is a large hub for Alaska Airlines, with all of its routes and those of American Airlines (except to Alaska and Hawaii) in the week of 17 February 2020 shown below. In reality, of course, there will be far fewer available on a two-way basis with competitive timings. California and Texas, in particular, are likely to be key for O&D.
North America – India has almost 6.9 million passengers
Almost 6.9 million people flew from North America to India in the 12 months to November 2019. The non-stop market is fast-growing but from a relatively low base, as shown below. Since the 12 months to November 2016, US – India non-stop traffic grew by an estimated CAGR of 8% and Canada – India 20%.
|Year||North America – India non-stop routes*||Non-stop airlines|
|Source: OAG Schedules Analyser. * Based on airline routes versus unique routes. ** So far.|
14 non-stop routes in 2019 from three new routes
Air India, United Airlines, Air Canada, and Delta Air Lines collectively operated 14 non-stop routes between North America and India last year. Three routes were added/reintroduced: Air India Delhi – Toronto (from September; last served 2012); Delta Air Lines New York JFK – Mumbai (from December); and United Airlines San Francisco – Delhi (December). Of these 14, only 10 are unique; these are shown below along with American’s coming Seattle – Bangalore service.
Air India by far the #1 airline
Air India has nearly three times as many total non-stop seats (1,127,800) as number-two, Air Canada (410,300). United Airlines (339,500) and Delta Air Lines (4,600) follow. Delta’s is, of course, because its New York JFK – Mumbai didn’t start until nearly the end of the year. Air India has seven routes from India, mainly linking key Star Alliance hubs of Chicago O’Hare, Newark, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington Dulles. Although there are very few seats between them, Air India’s Delhi – Chicago O’Hare is the top non-stop market it is served daily by the B777-300ER. However, on an airport-pair basis and not broken down by airline, Mumbai – Newark is by far the largest non-stop market by seats. Of course, many will connect over Newark.