U.S. to allow Indian air carriers to conduct ground handling operations

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday it planned to restore the ability of Indian air carriers to conduct ground handling operations at U.S. airports. The announcement comes as India is now allowing US air carriers to carry out a full range of ground handling operations at Indian airports, the Department said.

These ground operations provide facilities to promote aircraft planning and completion of flights, including ticketing, check-in, luggage handling, refuelling and de-icing. Air India should be permitted to resume operations after a final order has been issued by the Government. The Indian Embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to a request for comments.

The Indian Government, citing the coronavirus, had prohibited all scheduled services from the United States, urging the Department of Transportation in June to accuse India of engaging in “unfair and discriminatory practises” on charter air carriers serving India. The Trump administration said in June that it wanted “to create a level playing field for All airlines” under the U.S.-India Air Transport Agreement.