The United States has barred flag carrier airline Air India from independently carrying out ground handling operations at any of the five U.S. airports it flies to.
The order is seen as retaliation after India did the same to U.S. carriers in 2017, a move the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation said it was looking into, but on which no decision had yet been made.
“The department described the failure of the Indian government to permit US carriers to exercise their bilateral right to perform their own ground handling (to ‘self-handle’) at Indian airports,” read the US Department of Transportation order. “Based on this failure, the department has suspended their right to self-handle at US airports.”
Sources at Air India told India Today that the order will not affect the airline due to the fact it already outsources its ground handling operations in the United States.
The order was intended for Air India and Jet Airways, but will only apply to the former due to the fact that Jet Airways has since folded and ceased all operations.
Air India operates at five U.S. airports: Chicago, New York, Newark, Washington and San Francisco.