Monday, May 03, 2021

US travel restriction: Air India to slash frequency of American nonstops

New Delhi: Air India will be slashing frequency of its highly popular US nonstop from later this week as America’s travel restriction order from Covid-ravaged India comes into force from Tuesday morning, significantly reducing the number of eligible flyers. AI has about 30 weekly flights as of now and has cut flights mainly from and to its hub Delhi, followed by Mumbai and Bengaluru.

AI has come out with a schedule that cancels flights on India-America routes starting between May 6 and 14 and up to first week of June (different for different sectors). This schedule is tentative as the travel restriction from India by US, like most other countries including UK, is indefinite.

United is the only other airline that operates nonstops between India and US. Information has been sought from it about its plans, if any, to cut India frequencies during the restriction period. For now, United has switched to bigger passenger capacity planes — like Boeing 777 from B787 — to be able to fly in more medical aid as cargo to India and fly our more passengers from India before the Tuesday morning deadline.

During the pandemic, airlines have been offering free rescheduling for flights cancelled due to decisions by government in form of travel restrictions or flight cancellations. Like Canada has temporarily stopped all flights from India.

03/05/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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