Air India on Thursday cancelled its flights between Delhi and Moscow over the increased threat perception in the midst of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Notably, the airline has carried out regular flight operations since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine erupted on February 24.
An Air India official confirmed the cancellation but refused to comment on the reason for the cancellation.
Those who have already booked the tickets for travel on the Delhi-Moscow-Delhi route will be provided with a full refund.
The Russian embassy, however, stated that Air India has stopped selling tickets on the Delhi-Moscow-Delhi route, and the chances for restoration of services remain doubtful.
As per a report by Russian news agency Tass, the Russian embassy in a statement 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.”
It is worth noting that in March 2022, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has halted all its international flights due to additional circumstances that prevent the performance of flights.
But Air India continues to operate flights between Moscow and Delhi and said, “We have flights from Delhi to Moscow on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We are operating this route.”
Prior to the suspension, Air India used to operate twice-weekly flights from Delhi to Moscow, and in the absence of an Air India direct flight, travellers going to Moscow will have to use transit routes via Tashkent, Istanbul, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha.
Air India, currently owned by Tata Sons also participated in India’s ‘Operation Ganga‘ evacuation attempt to rescue Indians stranded in Ukraine.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine’s airspace was blocked by all airlines. Russian airspace was closed to airlines from the United States, Canada, and Europe. Air India was still flying over Russian airspace.