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Monday, 20 July, 2020, 16 : 50 PM [IST]

Air India opens bookings for 180 US flights under Vande Bharat Mission

National carrier Air India has opened bookings for international flights to the United States starting July 22. Under the fourth phase of Vande Bharat Mission, the state-run airline has announced 180 flights. Users can book tickets from Air India official website, booking offices or authorised travel agents.

Air India tweeted, "180 flights between India and USA under Vande Bharat Mission are scheduled. Tickets can be booked through Air India website, booking offices and authorised travel agents." 

The 180 flights are scheduled from July 22 to August 21, 2020. People will be able to fly to and from five destinations of USA having a connection to and from Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

It is worth noting that last month, the US Department of Transportation (DoT) had said that it would restrict charter flights from India. The department also accused New Delhi of engaging in "discriminatory and restrictive practices". 

Following the announcement, the Civil Aviation Ministry stated that it has received requests from several countries, including the US, France and Germany for allowing their airlines to participate in the transportation of passengers along the line being conducted by Air India under the Vande Bharat Mission and that the Ministry was examining the requests.

Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India along with several other domestic private carriers are allowed to operate flights. The ticket prices are pre-fixed ticket charges under this mission and the fourth phase began on July 3 to bring back Indians stranded abroad amid the pandemic.

With a limited demand, Air India recently proposed a 60 per cent salary cut for pilots amid the coronavirus pandemic which has infected 55 of its cockpit crew members. While scheduled international flights have been suspended in the country due to Coronavirus since March 23, Air India has been operating international repatriation flights all around the world under Vande Bharat Mission. Moreover, since scheduled domestic passenger flight operations resumed on May 25, the airline has been operating services domestically too.

Additionally, Air India will operate additional flights between India and London from 26th July to 30th July 2020, to connect Mumbai, Delhi, Kochi and Amritsar with London. Sale of tickets will start at 6:00 pm today through their website, booking offices, and authorised travel agents.

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