United Air may be escorted to India by Air Sahara.

The India-US air route is scheduled for rush hour traffic in NEW DELHI. Air Sahara, India’s third-largest airline, is proposing to escort United Airlines into Indian airspace by operating non-stop flights between Delhi and Chicago together. According to sources, Air Sahara has started discussions with United for a joint marketing initiative for the India route, under which tickets on the Delhi-Chicago sector would be sold through a common network and revenues and costs would be split between the two airlines. This comes at a time when United’s parent company UAL Corp. reported a $1.1 billion first-quarter net loss. It also closely follows a liberalized bilateral agreement signed by India and the US for bettering airlinks and opening more ports of call for airlines from both countries. Additionally, United’s ground crew members have voted to authorize a strike in the event that a bankruptcy judge permits the carrier to renegotiate their union contract. The United pension plans will be terminated, in what could be the biggest corporate pension default in US history, after a bankruptcy judge accepted the agreement. Rono J. Dutta, the CEO of Air Sahara and a former employee of United, stated that the company is in talks with a major Chicago-based carrier to operate direct flights between the two nations. Under the plan, United anticipates saving around $645 million annually. The Indo-US Open Skies Agreement permits agreements between Indian and American airlines as well as limitless flights between any city in the US and any city in India.

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