LONDON – Air India has announced that it is suspending its flights between Delhi and Moscow on the grounds of insurance disputes, as the airline is unable to secure insurance coverage amid an intensifying crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
Speaking to Indian media house NDTV, a source explained that all the flights operated on the international leg are insured by international insurance agencies.
But Air India has continued to utilize Russian airspace despite the Russo-Ukraine crisis and growing international sanctions imposed on Russia since the beginning of the war in late February.
Resumption is Uncertain…
The Russian embassy reported on Wednesday that the twice-weekly service of Air India has stopped selling revenue tickets on the Delhi Moscow Delhi route with immediate effect and there is no clear prospect of returning this service to normal.
Issuing its statement was the Russian embassy on its Telegram where it was said:
“Dear fellow citizens. We draw your attention that the Indian airline Air India has stopped selling tickets on the Delhi-Moscow-Delhi route, the prospects for resuming flights of this airline to Russia are uncertain at the moment.”
“According to the Air India office, passengers are entitled to a full refund for the canceled flights.”
As the only airline which was connecting India with Moscow with direct flight access, passengers can still fly to India, but via other transit zones like Tashkent, Istanbul, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, and other destinations, as they continue to serve flights to Moscow from their respective hubs.
Despite intensifying crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the Russian government announced its plans to end all Covid-19 restrictions imposed on flights and welcome regular schedule traffic from 52 ‘friendly’ countries but continued to block access to those who have joined western countries in their recent efforts to impose sanctions on Russia.
The Russian airspace continues to be closed for airlines and carriers from 36 countries, including 28 European Union member states, the United States, and the western front in retaliation to tough sanctions imposed for the Russo–Ukrainian crisis.
Air Canada to cancel its service to India
With the latest suspension of the Delhi – Moscow route, Air Canada has also announced that it will be suspending its flights between Vancouver and Delhi starting June till September, on the grounds of ‘operational constrained’.
With the detailed statement, Air Canada stated that “because of extended flying times and a re-fuelling stop that is required due to the current flight paths taken to go around Russian and Ukraine airspace.”
With the upcoming summer season around the South Asian sub-continent, damping weather conditions will create summer wind, which will further put operational challenges to conclude this route to Delhi.
But the airline asserted that it will continue to operate its scheduled service between Toronto and Montreal to India, as these routes use different flight paths away from the recent crisis zone.