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US to permit Air India to conduct ground handling operations at airports

PTI     September 4, 2020

The United States has announced that it plans to restore Air India's ability to self-conduct its ground handling operations at American airports. Issuing an order in this regard, US Department of Transportation reversed its previous order of July 2019 that had suspended the right of Air India to self-handle at US airports.

The Department and other US government agencies have continued to work with the government of India towards satisfactory resolution of this matter. In that connection, recent positive developments have led the department to tentatively determine that the public interest now calls for removal of the permit condition we had imposed in order 2019-7-9, said the order issued by Joel Szabat, Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs.

We therefore have tentatively decided to amend Air India's permit to remove that condition, the Department of Transportation said. Stakeholders and public have 21 days to respond to this proposal, before it can be finalised and enforced.

The order comes a day after the Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, had a conversation with the Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. India and the US have partnered in Aviation sector during these difficult times, the ambassador tweeted.

The order also relieves Air India of any further reporting requirement regarding its ground handling arrangements.

Also read: Govt shouldn't be running airports, airlines; hope to privatise Air India in 2020: Hardeep Singh Puri

Also read: International passenger flights suspended till Sept 30; Vande Bharat mission, 'air bubble' planes to operate

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