Air India has recently suspended flights from Delhi to Moscow. Air India has yet to issue an official statement as to why, but as of now Delhi – Moscow tickets on Air India’s website are “unavailable.”
A highly speculated suspension
India’s flag carrier last flew from Delhi to the Russian capital of Moscow on 31 March and was operated by a Boeing 787-8.
Air India has made one comment relevant to the suspension:
Air India has cancelled one return flight on the Delhi-Moscow-Delhi sector of 7th April 2022.
On 6 April, the Russian news agency TAAS quoted the Russian embassy in New Delhi regarding the suspension:
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 this moment.
The news agency concludes by saying that Air India’s office “has declined to comment on this situation.”
Meanwhile, news and media in India have widely reported that the reason behind the suspension was the loss of insurance cover.
The Indian Express has said that Air India was informed that its flights landing in Russia would not be able to be covered by valid insurance because of the greater threat surrounding the area due to the war in Ukraine. The Indian Express also reported that the Indian flag carrier was currently seeking government intervention to have the flights resumed.
India’s government used to own the airline before a sale to Talace Private Limited successfully took place.
No longer taking advantage of Russian airspace?
Air India is one of the few airlines to continue to fly over Russian airspace in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This gives the Indian carrier a significant economical and financial advantage over the majority of airlines across the globe that have had to create longer routes that avoid Russian airspace.
Politically, in the United Nations, India has opted to constantly abstain from UN resolutions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent conflict. They have, however, issued a statement condemning the recent killings and alleged war crimes committed by Russia in Bucha, Ukraine.
It is reasonable to suggest that the suspension of the Delhi – Moscow route is a sign that India has decided to follow the majority of the globe while retaining some kind of neutrality by not stating any reason behind the suspension.
Regardless, Russian airspace continues to become more and more desolate.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.