US Airlines Complain About Foreign Rivals Being Able to Fly Over Russia
Air India, VT-EXG, Airbus A320-251NInternationalIndiaAfricaWASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US airlines have complained to the Biden administration and Congress that they are losing profit on routes to Asia because they cannot fly over Russia as a result of sanctions on the country imposed by the collective West, the New York Times reported on Friday. Due to the inability to fly the so-called polar routes to Asia, US airlines are losing profits and passengers, struggling to find the most profitable routes in the changed conditions, the report said. A range of carriers, including Air India, Emirates and China Eastern Airlines, are having an unfair advantage by being able to fly the shortest and more fuel-efficient routes, the report said, citing an industry lobbying group Airlines for America presentation to Congress. Foreign airlines using Russian airspace on flights to and from the United States are gaining a significant competitive advantage over US carriers in major markets, including China and India, the report cited the presentation as saying. Airlines for America estimates that US air carriers lose about $2 billion per year as a result of the situation brought about by Western sanctions on Russia. The US airlines have asked the Biden administration and Congress to make foreign carriers fly the same routes, the report also said. According to Airlines for America spokeswoman Marli Collier, the lobbying group wants the Biden administration to take action to ensure that foreign carriers overflying Russia do not depart, land or transit through US airports, the report added. Russian airspace became inaccessible to airlines from a number of countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the EU member states after they imposed a ban on flights of Russian air carriers over their territory.