- The affected routes include Newark to Mumbai and San Francisco to Delhi; while Newark to Delhi and Chicago O'Hare to Delhi flights are currently operational.
United Airlines will no longer use Russian airspace for its flights to India and is temporarily suspending two routes as a result. Flights operating from Newark to Mumbai and San Francisco to Delhi are currently not operating.
Citing a memo from the airlines, news reports noted that the decision to avoid Russian airspace is the company’s and not Russia’s. While the country has “banned dozens of western countries from operating in its airspace, it has not yet banned U.S.aircrafts, even after the U.S. announced it would block Russian flights in U.S. airspace,” CNN reported.
United’s decision came hours before President Biden announced a ban on Russian operators using U.S. airspace during his March 1 State of the Union address.
“While some routes are possible to fly, we are unable to operate our full India operation,” the company said in a memo sent to its employees. “We may have additional adjustments to our flight schedule for India in the days ahead as the situation develops, but we remain in close communication with our crews in India.”
United spokesperson Leslie Scott told CNN the airline is also rerouting flights between Newark and Delhi, along with those between Chicago O’Hare and Delhi.
No other flights to and from India appear to be affected as of now.
Delta Air Lines also announced that it is no longer flying through Russian airspace for some Asia-bound flights. Last month, American Airlines began rerouting flights that operated over Ukraine.
“The U.S. ban on Russian aircraft is in place through May 25 and is in effect regardless of whether an aircraft is registered in Russia,” the CNN report said. “The only exceptions: Russian aircraft that are humanitarian flights operating on a permit from the U.S. government and flights experiencing an in-flight emergency.”