US warns to halt ground operations of Indian airlines; issues threat

Air India is the only carrier with direct flights to the US

India barred foreign ground operations in 2016

A retaliatory move by the USA could prohibit Indian carriers from conducting ground handling in the country from July 1. The US has sought details of ground operations from Indian carriers after the Indian government banned ground operations of foreign airlines in the country.

The US has sought detailed filing of all ground operations from Indian carriers by July 1, multiple people aware of the development reported economic times, citing sources.

Negotiations have already begun on both the sides, said sources. As recent communication was made by US authorities to New Delhi around 10 days ago. The current order comes into effect from July before which discussions are on. The central government further postponed its choice to force retributory levies on 29 imports from the US.

An aviation expert said the move by the USA was a pressure tactic on India as we held our position even after US President Donald Trump announced the ending of preferential trade treatment for India that allows duty-free entry for up to $5.6 billion worth of its exports to his country.

The Indian government is majorly involved because it is the national carrier Air India, the only carrier from India that operates direct flights to Washington, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

Following a media interaction ban on Air India, a senior AI official on anonymity said like most of the places groundwork of AI in the USA is outsourced as per law. It was in 2016 when the government had ground handling from foreign carriers as part of the new aviation policy.

On the other side, United is the exclusive US carrier that operates flights to India while Delta has announced plans to launch a new flight to India from December this year.

US authorities had lodged a protest citing an agreement signed with the Indian side that allows US-based carriers to carry out ground handling on their own.

The two nations have been involved in a progression of trade spats including the US interest for unlimited endorsement to its dairy trades, lower duties by India on ICT items and Harley Davidson bikes, and valuing of restorative gadgets. The US has likewise pulled back concessional taxes accessible to India under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

Union minister of commerce and industries Suresh Prabhu meets who holds additional charge of aviation is to meet US secretary of business Wilbur Ross on Monday where these issues could be discussed. The two sides have held eight rounds of meetings on settling trades issues after talks flopped in March a year ago.

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