United States bans Air India from carrying out ground handling operations

The United States banned Air India from carrying out ground handling operations on its own at all five airports in the country connected by the airline.

On July 30, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) served an order amending Air India’s foreign air carrier permit, which now reads, “the holder may not perform its own ground-handling functions (self-handle) in the United States”.

This will not affect the national carrier’s operations in the U.S. as it uses local handlers.

U.S. Department of Transportation on April 19th issued a show-cause notice warning that the U.S. may impose a ban on self-handling by Indian carriers because of India’s failure to allow U.S. carriers to “exercise their bilateral right to perform their own ground handling (to “self-handle”) at Indian airports”.

The problem between the two countries over the issue of ground-handling surfaced after India amended its ground handling regulation in 2017, barring all foreign airlines from conducting self handling at defence airports. Therefore, all U.S. carriers flying into India have outsourced their ground handling.

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