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Airline always look for opportunities worldwide, says Delta official on Air India interest

A senior official of the airline, which is set to resume direct services between Mumbai and New York from December 24, also expressed optimism about making money on this route.

Published: 20th December 2019 09:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2019 09:06 AM   |  A+A-

A Delta Air Lines jet sits at a gate at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta. (File Photo | AP)

By PTI

MUMBAI: American carrier Delta Air Lines on Thursday did not rule out the possibility of investing in Air India, saying it will "look at any opportunity" that fits its strategic plan.

A senior official of the airline, which is set to resume direct services between Mumbai and New York from December 24, also expressed optimism about making money on this route.

"We will look at any opportunity. When the opportunity presented outfits into Delta's overall strategic plan, we will look seriously at opportunity throughout the world," Jimmy Eichelgruen, Director (Sales) for Africa, Middle East and India at Delta Air Lines told PTI.

He was responding to a question on whether the airline would be looking at investing in Air India.

To revive the debt-laden Air India, the government is working on the modalities for 100 per cent stake sale in the national carrier.

When asked whether Air India fits into the airline's scheme of business, Eichelgruen said anything is possible.

"But personally, I am not aware of any thing at this time," he added.

"We are the most profitable airline in the world. So we must be thinking something wide. But we always look for opportunities as they present themselves. Who knows what is going to happen in the future," he said.

According to him, Delta Air Lines as a company always keep reviewing its worldwide strategy The US airline has an interline agreement with full-service carrier Vistara and was open to explore other commercial agreements as well, Eichelgruen said.

An interline arrangement provides for issuance and acceptance of tickets for flights operated by the partner airline.

On the resumption of Mumbai-JFK flight after almost a decade, he said his airline is not a big risk taker and so it has already done its "sums."

"Delta's return to India will ensure that Mumbai is even better connected to the US. There is a great deal of travel between Mumbai and New York," he said.

"We are optimistic about services and that we can make money (on the route), he said, adding that 1.3 million people travel between the US and India one-way every year, a scenario that presents a good opportunity for the airline."



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