US permission to self-conduct ground ops at airports an opportunity: AI

Air India on Friday said the US government’s plan to allow the airline to self-conduct ground handling operations at American airports is an “opportunity” and the airline will encash it in future “if there is ever such a need”.

The national carrier clarified it was not affected by the July 2019 decision of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to suspend the right of Air India to self-handle at the US airports. The airline’s ground handling services at American airports has been contracted to another company.

The USDOT on Friday announced that it plans to restore Air India’s ability to self-conduct its ground handling operations at American airports.

Ground handling services include loading and unloading of baggage in the aircraft, de-icing, check-in and ticketing.

Air India was not affected by this restriction by the US Department of Transportation to self handle at the US airports as Air India did not conduct any self handling of its flights in USA,” Air India told PTI.

“However, the relaxation will give us an opportunity to self handle at US airports in future, if there is ever such a need,” the carrier stated.

The USDOT’s announcement came a day after Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu had a conversation with US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

“India and the US have partnered in Aviation sector during these difficult times,” the ambassador tweeted.