U.S authorities have upgraded India's aviation safety rating, in a boost for Indian airlines which can now increase the number of flights they operate to the United States. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that India had taken corrective action to address the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) concerns, after the regulator downgraded India's rating to category 2 from category 1 in January last year, citing a lack of safety oversight. Foxx did not specify the action India had taken, but a person with knowledge of the decision said authorities had recruited more flight operations inspectors and streamlined certain procedures to improve safety. Decision is a boost for Air India and Jet Airways.
The upgraded rating is expected to help Jet Airways and state-owned Air India, the two Indian airlines which currently fly to the United States. "The United States Government commends the Government of India for taking corrective action to address the safety oversight issues identified during the IASA (International Aviation Safety Assessment) process," Foxx said in a statement.
"The U.S. is a very important destination for Indian travellers. It will have a positive impact not just on our airlines but on the Indian aviation sector in general," said Dhiraj Mathur, who leads PwC's aerospace practice in India.