Last month, the U.S. Government had moved forward to restrict Vande Bharat flights being operated by Air India to and from the United States of America, as they notice unfair and discriminatory practices with respect to US Carriers on the Indian side. The US DoT June 2020 order stated that the GoI had imposed restrictions that prevent US air carriers from making use of their charter rights. Essentially, the GoI had prevented US Carriers from conducting India – US passenger charter operations.
Because of this, the US DoT stated that they would scrutinise every flight to be operated between India and USA operated by Air India, and authorise them on a case-by-case basis. Air India will need to file applications for each flight at least 30 calendar days before the proposed charter flight going forward.
Now, in the wake of United being permitted to operate repatriation flights to/from India, the situation seems to have been resolved to the satisfaction of the US Department of Transportation. The US DOT, in a new order published on July 17, 2020, states,
The Department and other U.S. Government agencies have continued to work with the GoI towards satisfactory resolution of this matter. In that connection, recent positive developments have led the Department to determine at this time that the public interest calls for removal, until further order of the Department, of the charter prior approval requirement that we had imposed on Air India.
Accordingly, the US-DoT has decided to rescind their prior order which requires Air India to apply for flying rights per flight 30-days before operating passenger flights to the USA.
US-DoT seems to have received the required reciprocity from the Government of India to allow the US-carriers such as United and Delta to operate passenger flights full both ways to India, hence they have withdrawn their earlier order which needed Air India to file separately for every flight 30 days in advance and take approval. This would mean you should see more and more flights operational between India and the USA in the coming days.
What do you make of the early morning news from the USA?
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