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Delta Air Lines to fly nonstop from the US.to India for first time in a decade

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By Leslie Josephs, CNBC
  • Delta ended its non-stop service to Mumbai in 2009.
  • Delta has blamed Middle Eastern airlines for hurting its ability to operate in parts of Asia.
  • Qatar and the U.A.E. reached deals with the U.S. over airline practices earlier this year.

Delta Air Lineswill fly nonstop from the U.S. to India for the first time in a decade, a decision the airline said was due to recent agreements over three of its Middle Eastern rivals' practices.

The flights will begin next year and either depart from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport or Delta's home base at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, but the airline has not made a final decision.

Delta's announcement came after agreements this year appeared to put to rest a bitter, yearslong dispute with three Persian Gulf airlines — Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad — which U.S. airlines said received government subsidies making it impossible for the U.S. carriers to compete in certain markets.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC earlier this month that the airline intended on returning to markets, including India, where it had been "hurt" by the three Middle Eastern carriers.

In January, Qatar, agreed to open its books and provide financial statements. Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates agreed to a similar deal with the Trump administration.

"This move will mark a return to India for Delta, which was forced to exit the market after subsidized state-owned airlines made service economically unviable," Delta said.

The service requires government approval, Delta said, adding that it plans to also expand its code-sharing agreement with local partner Jet Airways to carry passengers to other destinations in India.

United AirlinesUAL is currently the only U.S. airline that flies nonstop to India from the United States.

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