Air India was the only Indian carrier with operations in Russia for a long time, so it was no surprise that they were been looked at closely when Russia started a war with Ukraine in February 2022. Many airlines, including United, stopped using Russian Airspace, which meant they had to cancel some flights (which are still cancelled). However, Air India had been operating its Delhi – Moscow flights till March 31, 2022.
Air India drops Moscow in April 2022
Air India had been operating a 787-8 flight twice a week to Moscow during the Winter Schedule for 2021, and it had been intending to add Mumbai – Moscow connectivity, eventually as well. These flights operated even after the war broke out.
However, new issues related to insurance have caused these flights to be now withdrawn. The Times of India today reported that as Air India had a new insurance cover kick off from April 1, 2022, the airline has had to withdraw its flights to Moscow. This is because the renewed insurance contract prohibits operations in Russia and Ukraine.
TOI further reports that the last flight to Moscow was operated on March 31, 2022, and these flights will now only be resumed once the war in Ukraine ends. Aeroflot, which operated twice weekly to Delhi had already stopped international flights altogether on the back of the sanctions imposed on Russia by many countries.
Air India will continue to overfly Russia
However, Air India will continue to overfly Russian airspace under the renewed insurance contracts, Air India has clarified. Air India depends on the use of Russian airspace given it flies to the USA and United has had to halt its operations on the Mumbai – Newark and Delhi – San Francisco operations due to the fact that they cannot operate them without the use of Russian airspace.
Air India will continue to operate flights using the Russian Airspace, but will no longer be able to operate flights to Moscow due to new insurance contracts. Hence, they have temporarily withdrawn their Delhi – Moscow service and will also put on hold their plans to operate Mumbai – Moscow services for now.
What do you make of Air India’s operations in Russia?
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