Airline operators present memorandum to Jitendra Singh

New Delhi, Feb.17 (ANI): Representatives of India’s leading airlines including Jet Airways, Indigo, Spice Jet and Go Air, today called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh here today to seek the government’s intervention to incorporate some of their concerns while finalising the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP).

They said this was essential to avoid discrimination against them and provide them an equal level-playing field with the foreign and new airlines which had started operations in India.

Prominent among those who accompanied the delegation were Aditya Ghosh, President of Indigo, Dr Narayan Hariharan, Senior Vice President of Jet Airways, Ajab Singh, CMD of Spice Jet and Jeh Wadia, Managing Director of Go Airlines.

In a memorandum submitted to the minister, the airline operators demanded that they should also be kept on board as stakeholders during the consultations before finalising the new policy.

They complained that while no other country in the world allows substantial ownership and effective control of its airlines to be taken over by foreign airlines, India has permitted some airlines to operate despite being effectively controlled by their foreign parent.

The memorandum claimed that the Federation of Indian Airlines represents 90 percent of the Indian Air industry, and therefore, their views deserve to be heard before finalising any policy.

They also expressed reservation against the proposal for auctioning of bilateral rights on the ground that no country in the world auctions its sovereign right to others.

The memorandum also drew attention to the fact that while, for the already operating domestic airlines, the condition laid down by the Civil Aviation Ministry is to serve for at least five years and own at least 20 aircrafts before applying for rights to fly abroad, the new policy is said to exempt the new Airlines from this obligation which will amount to injustice towards the already operating airlines.

The memorandum also referred to the proposed clause relating to the availability of seats for a healthy and balanced growth, including the backward and remotely connected areas, where these existing airlines have been operating, but the newly entering airlines may not be expected to fulfil this requirement.

As far as the sector-wise benefits, the already operating Airlines from India would be at disadvantage, because it is they who came forward to operate in sensitive areas, including Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.

Dr.Singh assured airline operators that their concerns would be put up before the Ministry of Civil Aviation. (ANI)

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