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USA Bans Charter Airplanes from India

On June 23rd the USA restricted charter flights from India and accused India of engaging in ‘discriminatory and restrictive practices’. In an official statement from the Department of Transportation on June 22nd which read that a foreign carrier from India "will be required, effective 30 days after the service date of this Order, to obtain prior approval from the Department in the form of a statement of authorization before operating any Third and/or Fourth Freedom charter flights to or from the US, We are taking this action because the government of India has impaired the operating rights of US carriers and has engaged in discriminatory and restrictive practices with respect to US carrier services to and from India”.

• Currently, Air India is the only charter flight that holds department authority to conduct operations with its own crew and flights.

• The DoT has further stated, "this restrictive and discriminatory treatment of US carriers as regards charters has important implications in the area of scheduled operations as well”.

• USA alleges that India has imposed restrictions that prevent US air carriers from making full use of these charter rights.

• The USA, however, has not placed any limitations on US-India charter operations and Air India remains free to conduct the full complement of passenger charter services.

• India had to suspend all domestic and international scheduled passenger airlines to fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the nation.

• On June 3rd the DoT under the Trump administration blocked Chinese flights to the US as well in an escalation of trade and travel tensions between the countries. The decision was allegedly a response to China’s failure to let United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resume their flights to China on that week, which were suspended earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DoT also said that China was violating an agreement between the 2 countries which covered flights by each other’s airlines.

Reporter: Jovan H

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