The government of India has agreed to allow US airline services to resume passenger flights in the US-India market from July 23rd, said the U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday.
Considering the increasing number of coronavirus cases in India, the Indian government had banned all scheduled flight services, causing the U.S. Transportation Department to accuse charter air carriers serving India for taking part in “unfair and discriminatory practices, in June.
According to the statement given by the Transportation Department, they were revoking an order issued requiring Indian air carriers to apply for authorization before conducting charter flights and stated that they approved an application by Air India for charter flights between the United States and India.
The committee representing major US airlines and the Indian Embassy in Washington did not immediately comment on Friday.
India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Twitter that it was moving to “expand the international civil aviation operations further” and arranging for some flights “with the United States, the United Arab Emirates, France and Germany. Similar arrangements are also being made with several other countries.”
As per this agreement, airlines from the concerned countries will be able to operate flights with Indian carriers to and from India.
The regulation from the U.S. Department of Transportation is scheduled to take effect next week. In June, the Trump administration said it aimed to restore a level playing field for U.S. air carriers under the Transport Agreement between the U.S. and India. The Indian government had banned all scheduled services and failed to approve charter operations with U.S. carriers, it added.
The US government said in June, that since May 7 Air India has been operating “repatriation” charter flights in both directions between India and the United States.
Separately, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had announced on July 3 about the extended blanket ban on international flights until July 31. The ban has so far been until July 15, and the restart of regularly scheduled international passenger flights has now been further postponed.
According to senior government officials, the blanket ban has been extended because it was felt that it would take India a little longer to prepare before it can resume scheduled international operations.
The international flights will resume their passenger services depends primarily on the destination countries allowing Indian to enter their borders, or removing travel restrictions they have put in place due to global pandemic.