Rajiv Bansal, secretary, ministry of civil aviation, confirmed the development that the US wants to ban the landing of Air India planes using Russian airspace.
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US carriers are lobbying with the state administration to not allow foreign carriers including Air India, which are using the Russian airspace, to land at US airports as they feel disadvantaged on fares and flying time.
The US carriers say they are facing loss of business to Indian, Chinese and Gulf carriers which use the Russian airspace, offer cheaper tickets and fly faster. As US carriers are banned from using the Russian airspace, they are forced to use a circuitous route.
While Campbell Wilson, MD and CEO of Air India, declined to comment on the matter, Rajiv Bansal, secretary, ministry of civil aviation, confirmed the development but said it would be incorrect for countries to start telling others which routes to fly on. “This is something which the US senators are pursuing with their government. We have not received anything from the US government. If countries start telling who can fly where, the entire international civil aviation order will break,” Bansal told FE on the sidelines of the CAPA India Aviation Summit 2023.
Analysts pointed out that it will be difficult for the US administration to succumb to such lobbying, especially in the case of Air India because of the strong Indo-US relations and also due to the fact that India is a signatory to the Chicago Convention. Air India has more than 40 flights a week to the US from India.
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