US downgrades Indian aviation

The US Federal Aviation Authority has downgraded Indian aviation safety following an audit which revealed deficiencies in oversight.

“A black day in India’s aviation history,” is how local newspaper the Business Standard described the US move.

A downgrade to Category 2 places Indian aviation in the same situation as Philippine Airlines.

It means that codesharing between US carriers and their Indian counterparts will be forbidden. And, crucially, the two Indian carriers serving the US — Air India and Jet Airways — cannot expand their services there.

US carrier United was quick off the mark and has already cancelled its codeshare agreement with Jet Airways.

Media reports say that United’s decision will impact on Jet Airways. The Mumbai-based carrier is believed to earn no less than 15 per cent of its revenue from interline (the switching of passengers from one carrier to another) and codeshare sales.

It is unclear whether or not the FAA’s move will affect the launch of the future Etihad service linking Abu Dhabi with New York, which will be operated by a B777-300ER leased from Jet Airways.

The European Union, whose aviation bodies operate independently of the US, will discuss the situation at a meeting next month according to the Business Standard.

Alex McWhirter


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  • The Gulf Airlines are going at great length to enter the US and Canadian market through the back door by exploiting there codeshare partners like Jet, Air Serbia and others. Air India is also scheduled to join the Star Alliance group from 2014. What would then happen to United, which is a Star Alliance partner ? These Gulf countries are very small geographically and using all means to enter into territories where they donot have access. Finacially they have there oil rich governments to back them. The airlines from the west are dependent on their own and many restrictions are put towards them to operate profitabily against these upstart rich arab airlines have a very small market of their own. They are just like baby snatchers taking from other countries and transfering them through their hubs….!!

  • Prakton – Thanks for reminding us about Air India’s intention to join Star Alliance this summer. At the present time it is unclear whether or not the FAA’s decision will impact on this timescale.

  • Dear Prakton. Sorry the legacy carriers have had an advantage for numerous years and have watched how they have let their service standards and product offerings deteriorate overtime, the Middle eat carriers use a different operating model and show profit through strategic management, the US carriers have a bad rep in the market over a number of years for service , so what wrong with competition ?? It is not all about the oil but about in fracture and management and how you run the airline.

  • Being an Indian, I can only say how glad I am that someone has finally shown our airlines what’s what! After the demise of Kingfisher, which was the only airline that REALLY attempted to offer world-class product and service, Jet Airways and Air India have had a field day, minting money while cutting corners….and at ever-climbing ticket prices. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for them; and the eagerly anticipated new airlines will give them a competitive jolt.

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