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Are Vande Bharat repatriation flights discriminatory, as US govt points out?

The US has alleged that the Indian government has discriminated against its airlines. It may be right, say industry experts

June 24, 2020 / 07:19 PM IST

Is the US Transportation Department fair in saying that the Indian government has engaged in "unfair and discriminatory practices" through the Vande Bharat Mission flights?

The Department has asked for a "level playing field for US airlines" under the US-India Air Transport Agreement and issued an order requiring Indian air carriers to apply for authorisation prior to conducting charter flights.

As it turns out, the US Department may be right in its reprimand, say industry experts.

"Aviation works on reciprocity and Americans were not getting their approvals in a timely manner from the DGCA (the industry regulator). This is something that was coming," says Nitin Sarin, Managing Partner of Sarin & Co, which specialises in aviation law, on social media platform Twitter.