Delta is doing so well in so many ways. Exciting new service to India is coming. So why does Delta continue to levy petty attacks against Gulf carriers? I just don’t get it.
It has been a great run for Delta. The best-run airline in the USA has reported consistent profits, boasts happy employees, an expanding route network, and satisfied customers. Yet Delta feels the needs to continually and hypocritically attack Gulf carriers. It is simply becoming exhausting…
Yesterday, Delta (finally) announced that it would resume service to India in December 2019. Its new flight from New York to Mumbai will operate on the following schedule:
- New York to Mumbai – dep 9:15 P.M. arr 10:50 P.M.+1
- Mumbai to New York – dep 12:50 A.M. arr 6:35 A.M.
Delta has not yet announced the frequency of this flight, which suggests it will not be daily. The new route will utilize a Boeing 777-200 with Delta One Suites like the ones pictured above.
Nestled in the press release about the new route was a statement from Delta CEO Ed Bastian:
Delta’s nonstop service between New York and Mumbai is the latest example of our international growth as we strive to connect the world better than any other airline. This route would not be possible without the administration’s ongoing efforts to enforce fair competition in international travel, ensuring that consumers enjoy a wide range of choices as they travel the globe.
Notice the second sentence, which I certainly take issue with. Delta seems to have this idea that if you shout something long enough, people will believe it. And while that is sadly a decent political strategy, the facts do not bear out Delta’s claim. I won’t rehash that here, but see my analysis on a recent dishonest op-ed from Bastian to understand why the constant attacks against Gulf carriers represent hypocrisy at its finest.
But wait, there’s more! Delta’s Chief Legal Officer, Peter Carter, also weighed in on the new route:
Every long-haul route lost or foregone to subsidized Middle East carrier competition costs more than 1,500 American jobs, so we are pleased to bring this route back into service thanks to landmark agreements the Trump administration reached with Qatar and the U.A.E.
Seriously, this is in the press release. Small problem: it’s not true! Gulf carriers add U.S. jobs, since Gulf carriers buy Boeing jets and hire employees to run their U.S. operations. Not to mention the multiplier effect of any new route in the USA (think U.S. fuel, catering, airport fees, parking, hotels, etc).
Delta has proven that it not only can compete against Gulf carriers, but can compete well against Gulf carriers. Nevertheless, as Delta continues its odd “get off my lawn” rantings about its competition, its good news is overshadowed by what amounts to bullying. Instead of writing exclusively about the new Mumbai route, we are again drawn into a faux-controversy that Delta whipped up itself.
Perhaps Delta is just covering itself now so that it can cast blame yet again on others if the new Mumbai route fails.