The closure of Russian airspace for US airlines has resulted in longer routes, significant diversions along with stopover on some flights to and from India.
United previously canceled all flights between the United States and India on 2nd March to avoid flying over the Russian airspace. However, United has now resumed flights on three of its four routes between India and the US, the following flights completely avoid the Russian airspace.
- Delhi to Newark
- Delhi to Chicago
- Delhi to San Francisco
United did not resume flights between Newark and Mumbai.
Flight Between Delhi and New York/Newark
These flights are currently making tech stops in Bangor, Maine before continuing to New York. This added at least 2.5 hours on the flight time. Keep in mind the scheduled flight time had already been revised based on an indirect routing avoiding Russian airspace. The total delay with indirect routing and extra stop in Bangor is now 4-5 hours longer than in the past using Russian airspace.
Air India continues to fly on its usual route from Delhi to New York over the Russian airspace. The average flight time is 14 hours 17 minutes according to FlightRadar24.
Flight Between Delhi and Chicago
United continues to operate non-stop from Delhi to Chicago with flight time over 17 hours. Unlike the Delhi to Newark flight with a tech stop in Bangor, the Chicago flight is operating non-stop. Both Chicago and Newark flights took a similar route to avoid Afghanistan and Russian airspace.
Meanwhile, Air India continues to operate non-stop flights from Delhi to Chicago over Russian Airspace with an average flight time of 14 hours 49 mins.
Flight between Delhi and San Francisco
It seems the West Coast direct flight from India isn’t badly affected as the East Coast flights.
Although United has re-routed its flights from Delhi to San Francisco avoiding the Russian airspace, the flight time doesn’t seem to be prolonged.
Compared to United’s Flight UA3014 and Air India’s Flight AI173 from Delhi to San Francisco on 16th March, the flight time between the flights was close to the same, with United edging by a quarter-hour, even though Air India use Russian airspace.