Air India jetliner

An Air India jetliner at Mumbai's international airport. (EPA / September 29, 2009)

The Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded the safety rating of India's commercial airlines, saying the country's commercial carriers fell short of international standards.

The FAA's announcement Friday means that India-based airlines can continue to operate in and out of the U.S. but cannot establish new service to this country.

The downgrade signifies that India does not comply with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations.

The federal agency downgraded India from "Category 1" to "Category 2" based on an evaluation of India's civil aviation agency.

The FAA did not offer details about India's deficiencies. Los Angeles International Airport does not receive regular service from any India-based airline.

The FAA determined that India complied with the ICAO's standards in 1997 but an audit by the international organization in 2012 found deficiencies that prompted the FAA to reassess India's safety standards.

India has been working toward improving its standards by hiring 75 safety inspectors in January, according to the FAA.

"U.S. and Indian aviation officials have developed an important working relationship as our countries work to meet the challenges of ensuring international aviation safety," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

The other countries whose safety rating has been downgraded to Category 2 include Indonesia, Ghana, Curacao, Serbia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

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