US to restrict Vande Bharat repatriation flights

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Air India’s repatriation flights from India flying to and from the US will be restricted by the US government.

The American government has accused India of violating an aviation treaty signed between the two nations.

An order issued by the US Department of transport on Monday said the directive would take effect in 30 days and Air India will have to file applications for authorisation for repatriation flights. The order said the government has taken the action after Indian authorities didn’t address American concerns about “restrictive, unfair and discriminatory treatment of US carriers to and from India” which were first raised on May 19.

Air India is the only foreign air carrier from India that has authorisation from the US department of transport to conduct operations to and from the US with its own aircraft and crew.

Meanwhile, India under the third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission had planned to operate 96 flights to various cities in the US to bring back the Indian nationals stranded amid the COVID19 pandemic between June 12 and July 2 won’t be affected due to the order issued by the US government.

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