By: Nandika Chand | Last Updated July 18, 2020
The Center has given the green light for US air carriers to resume international flights in the US – India market starting July 23. India’s national carrier, Air India had been operating repatriation charter flights between India and the US in both directions since May 7.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation said it was moving to further expand its international civil aviation operations and arrangements from some flights with the United States, United Arab Emirates, France and Germany are being put in place. It said similar arrangements are also being made with several other countries. “Under this arrangement, airlines from the concerned countries will be able to operate flights from and to India along with Indian carriers,” the ministry said.
This comes after the US Transportation Department had accused India of engaging in unfair and discriminatory practices on charter air carriers serving India. The Transport Department said it was withdrawing an order it had issued requiring Indian air carriers to apply for authorization prior to conducting charter flights. This was set to take effect next week. The Trump administration said it wanted to restore a level playing field for US airlines under the US – India Air Transport Agreement.
However, the July 23 resume date has come under scrunity as India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on July 3 had extended the ban on international flights to July 31. Officials said resumption of international flights depends mainly on the destination country allowing Indian citizens into its borders, or removing travel restrictions that they put in place over the last few months.