Sunday, July 09, 2006

Red tape has airline startups wait in the wings

Mumbai: Nearly half a dozen new airlines that announced plans to start operations last fiscal have failed to take off. Magic Air, East West Airlines, Jagson Airlines, Indigo Airlines and Indus Airways had announced their plans to fly early 2006 but are yet to begin commercial operations.
New Delhi-based Jagson Airlines had planned for a launch in July 2006, but is still awaiting the required clearances.
The fate of Magic Air, promoted by businesswoman Nira Radia, is also the same. As per civil aviation norms, a scheduled or non-scheduled air transport operator’s permit could be granted only to Indian citizens. Radia is a non-resident Indian. Similarly, East West Airlines, which had shut operations in the mid-1990s was planning to re-start in early 2006. However, the airline is still riddled with problems since it is yet to pay off past debts.
09/07/06 Shilpa Shree & Neelasri Barman/Financial Express