Since the time the coronavirus pandemic began India started its Vande Bharat repatriation mission. The Indians held up in the US due to the economic crisis brought by the pandemic that has been brought home by the government. For this India was authorized to run repatriation flights in various cities in the US.
The US government has imposed some restrictions on Air India’s repartition flights because of their engagement in discriminatory treatment of American airlines by barring them from operating similar flights.
The US Department of transport issued an order which would take effect in 30 days. The order said that the US side has taken actions against Indian services because they neglected the concerns about restrictive and discriminatory treatment of US carriers. These concerns were first raised on May 19.
Now Air India has to file applications for authorization for repatriation flights at least 30 days before the date of the proposed flight.
Between June 12 to July 2, India was going to operate 96 flights. This was the third phase o Vande Bharat Mission. This was one of the biggest repatriation programs by India to bring back those who are stuck in the US because of the pandemic. They have lost their jobs in the country and are willing to come back to their homeland. This program is not harmed and is totally exclusive of the rules implied on other international flights.
India increased the number of flights in the second and third phases to bring back the stranded people. These include professionals and students who lost their jobs in the economic fallout.
Air India was notified by the US officials regarding this. The notice stated, “will be required, effective 30 days after the service date of this Order, to obtain prior approval from the Department…before operating any Third- and/or Fourth-Freedom charter flights to or from the United States”.
The action now is taken by the US officials as the notice was neglected by the Indian officials. India is the only country that has the permit to go in and out of the US. This permit makes India follow the scheduled and charter rights.
According to the order the Indian side imposed restrictions and prevented the US from making the full use of the charter rights. Whereas the US has not placed any restrictions on Indian charter rights. It also barred from conducting chartered operations “involving direct sales to individual passengers or through other distribution systems”.
The repatriation started on May 18 and the officials got the notice on May 19.