MIAMI – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, American Airlines (AA) and United Airlines (UA) are both looking for ways to slowly bring back their international routes. One major target on the horizon is Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) in India.

American recently announced it would resume service to this destination in 2021, a recent delay from its previously planned 2020 target. This news comes on the heels of a recent new partnership, with Alaska Airlines (AS) joining AA in the oneworld Alliance.

United Airlines anticipates keeping up 30% of its international schedule beginning this month, which is an increase from the same time last year. Like AA, UA appears to be intentional but cautious in increasing service.

Regarding this increase in service, United’s Vice President of International Network and Alliances, Patrick Quayle recently called it a “realistic” approach created by “monitoring customer demand and flying where people want to go.”

Both carriers plan to fly routes to/from the Pacific Northwest in the United States to Bangalore, each from different cities. AA will fly to BLR from Seattle Washington, whereas UA will fly from San Francisco, California.

United Airlines aircraft. Photo: Luca Flores

Why Fly to Bangalore

Currently, Bangalore is serviced by 28 International Airlines, and in 2019 the India times reported 33.30 million passengers traveling through the airport for that year, making the destination a high-rated economic opportunity.

Beginning in early 2020 the COVID-19 slowed air travel across much of the world, putting monumental pressures on many airlines. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently reported that due to COVID-19, worldwide passenger traffic has decreased by an astonishing 61%.

In terms of revenue, this equates to approximately $262 billion (USD) in anticipated losses. Ultimately the two figures combined speak to the greatest decline in air travel demand since 1945. Given recent events, there is no question that airlines are eager to reverse the decline.

The recent announcement from both AA and UA of flights resuming to Bangalore is a promising sign of a long-anticipated comeback.

Featured image: American Airlines. Photo: Liam Funnell