Here’s How Russian Airspace Closure Is Impacting US Airlines Flying To India

Russian Airspace ban on travr;

Last Updated on Mar 29th, 2022 by Renu Dahiya, Leave a Comment

President Joe Biden has made an announcement that the U.S. is banning Russian airspace for its airlines in retaliation to the invasion of Ukraine. The UK was the first to take the initiative of blocking its airspace to Russia and Canada has also banned Russian flights from its airspace.

Official Statement: “I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American airspace to all Russian flights, further isolating Russian and adding an additional squeeze on their economy,” President Joe Biden said. 

Affect Of Banning Russian Airspace 

This move of banning Russian airspace for US airlines has affected the flight times, important diversions, and stopovers on some flights to/from India. To avoid flying over the Russian Airspace,  United Airlines has canceled the flights operating between the US and India on March 2nd, 2022. But, now flights have been resumed by United Airlines for three of its routes between India and the US, completely avoiding Russian airspace. These flights are as follows – 

  • Flight between Delhi and Newark/New York
  • Flight between Delhi and San Francisco
  • Flight between Delhi and Chicago

Worst Hit on Indian-American Aviation Sector 

US airlines flying directly to India have had to redesign the routes of their flights. United Airlines and American Airlines have changed their routes and stops to avoid flying over Russian airspace. 

However, Air India has remained unaffected as it continues to use its usual routes to the US because Indian airlines are still allowed to use Russian Airspace. Some major routes which have been affected are mentioned below: 


Due to the decision of banning Russian flights for US airlines by President Joe Biden, operations of American and United Airlines flights from Delhi to Newark and back have been majorly affected. For avoiding Russian airspace, scheduled flight time has already been changed due to indirect routing. 

It has resulted in longer routes as these flights are now making their tech spots in Bangor and Maine before resuming their journey to Newark. This has added approximately 2.5 hours to the flight time. And, as compared to the past usage of Russian airspace, these flights are now 4 to 5 hours longer because of indirect routing and extra stops

Delhi-New York

American and United Airlines flights from Delhi to New York have also been impacted due to the ban on Russian Airspace. US airlines now take a longer route along with extra tech spots to fly between Delhi and New York. These flights are neither time nor fuel-efficient as it has resulted in rising fuel prices. Flights from Delhi have to make refueling stopovers before continuing towards New York. 

Delhi-San Francisco

West Coast direct flights from/to India are not badly affected, unlike the East Coast flights. Even though United Airlines has redesigned the routes of flights from Delhi to San Francisco and back to avoid Russian airspace, the flight time hasn’t observed major changes.  As compared to Air India’s flight AI173 from Delhi to San Francisco, United’s flight UA3014 duration time from Delhi to San Francisco is closely the same. 

United Airlines is using the route from Delhi to Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Japan, and across the pacific towards San Francisco and Air India is using the old route over Russian airspace.  


Air India continues to use the usual route over Russian airspace for flights from Delhi to Chicago. United Airlines is still operating a non-stop flight UA899 from Delhi to Chicago with almost 17 hours of flight time, unlike the Delhi to Newark flight with a tech stop in Bangor. Both the United Airlines flights from Delhi to Chicago and Newark use almost the same route to avoid flying over Russian Airspace. 


The decision of banning Russian airspace for US Airlines by President Joe Biden has affected the plans of passengers flying from India to the USA and vice versa. As India opens its borders to international passenger flights from March 27, the condition may improve a little bit but not much for US airlines which will still be restricted because of the closure of Russian airspace for US Airlines. 


Q: Has United Airlines started flights on four of its routes between India and the USA? 

Ans: United Airlines has previously suspended all flights between the USA and India, but now it has resumed flights between India and the USA on three of its four routes – Delhi to Newark, Delhi to San Francisco, and Delhi to Chicago. United Airlines still has not resumed the flights between Mumbai and Newark. 

Q: Has Air India’s flights from USA to India and back also been restricted to flying over Russian Airspace?

Ans: No, Air India continues to use its usual routes over Russian airspace from India to the USA because Indian airlines are still allowed to use Russian Airspace.

Worried about which routes to take while flying to India? Don’t worry, we at MyTicketsToIndia are here to help you out in this difficult time.
As an accredited member of IATA, we’ll not only offer the cheapest flights from USA to India and vice versa but share the best flight itineraries. Thus, to book your USA-India flights without any hassles and at the cheapest airfares, contact our travel experts today!

About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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