Tuesday, 5 July, 2022
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US restricts Air India’s ‘Vande Bharat’ flights citing ‘unfair’ limits on its airlines

US Transportation Dept accused Air India of selling tickets to the public on repatriation flights while US airlines are prohibited from flying to India.

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Washington: The U.S. government on Monday restricted charter flights from India, accusing that nation of “unfair and discriminatory practices” by violating a treaty governing aviation between the two countries.

Air India Ltd. has been making flights to repatriate its citizens during the travel disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, but also has been selling tickets to the public, the Transportation Department alleged.

At the same time, U.S. airlines have been prohibited from flying to India by aviation regulators there, the DOT said in its order. The situation “creates a competitive disadvantage for U.S. carriers,” the agency said in a press release.

Air India is advertising a schedule that is more than half of pre-virus operations, the department said. “The charters go beyond true repatriations, and it appears that Air India may be using repatriation charters as a way of circumventing” that nation’s flight restrictions, the U.S. agency said.

The order becomes effective in 30 days, the department said.

Indian airlines must apply to the DOT for authorization before conducting charter flights so that it can scrutinize them more closely, it said. The department will reconsider the restrictions once India lifts restrictions on U.S. carriers.

The action against India follows weeks of DOT restrictions against Chinese airlines after the U.S. agency accused that nation of unfairly banning American carriers in the wake of the virus. On June 15, the U.S. announced it would agree to allow four flights a week from China after it allowed the same number by U.S. carriers.

Attempts to reach Air India and the Indian embassy in Washington after business hours were unsuccessful. – Bloomberg

Also read: India braces for US restrictions on H-1B, L-1 visas, making efforts to lessen impact on firms


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  1. True…At a time when the citizens are stranded abroad the Govt shld be cosiderate and allow international flights .If Air India can ferry passengers then why not other airlines where the bookings already exist.They should consider allowing international flights at least in staggered manner.Moreiver the Air India flies only frm 4 destinations from the US which is a bottleneck for many passengers who are placed in different parts of US..Its time to stop giving excuses and be fair to Stranded passengers abroad.

  2. True The whole task of Vande Bharat Mission is to take advantage of the situation..If Air India could ferry passengers for a price why not other airlines. where passengers have already prebooked….simple logic.Hope the Govt will be considerate to all the stranded passengers abroad and start allowing the International flights at least in staggerd manner

  3. Please normalize the international flight travel restrictions should not give the best result just traveling passengers to be checked before flying try to take that step deeply instead of flights ban

  4. Well said Arthur Nalliah.
    They are just fleecing us all. That is why they are not starting regular flights.
    Less flights and double the money. Wow!
    This Govt talks about people fleecing India and is going after them. Who will go after the Govt.?
    They were also charging the migrant workers train fare to get home. Don’t they have any shame

  5. It’s not any commercial decision to deprive non-Indian airlines to deprive them of their business, it’s simply to reduce the spread of coronavirus, and is a temporary measure. All countries have to be sensitive to this pandemic issue, and be considerate in their demand.

    • So according to you if a person travel to India in an indian carrier he will not catch covid… wakeup man…or probably that is the reason air india is charging 3 times more for a one way journey…usa govt is right….sir india is fleecing Indians..

  6. India should allow other nations flights.you are not justified to make air india only rich by monopolizing.
    Allow international fligbts with the same care.lot of people are stranded in other nations.pl.review.

    • This is not going to make Air India rich. The US blatantly flouted all the recommendations to keep Corona from spreading, and now plays the ‘unfair and discriminatory’ card.

  7. Mr Puri what is your reply to US DOT. At the time of need you must help your fellow citizens instead of fleecing. Your aim is not helping Indian citizens but making hay when the Sun shines. Please change your mind to help the Stranded Indian citizens. U S will take care of their people. Don’t unnecessarily shed crocodile tears.

  8. No friendship works spend as much you want to welcome Trump and celebrate his birthday. India has been caught in a bind. This unfair practice by Air India is not acceptable.

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