Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 was a mixed bag for airlines in India

The civil aviation policy could soon see the light of day, but all eyes would be on how it would deal with the demand for scrapping the controversial 5/20 Rule that makes a domestic airline to complete five years of operations, while having a fleet of as few as 20 aircraft to start international operations.

While there is the promise of a business-friendly policy in early 2016 with tax sops, fliers will have to spend more on tickets due to the introduction of a 2 per cent cess to fund the government’s regional connectivity plans. SpiceJet, which was on the verge of closure due to financial problems last year, sprang back to business with the entry of its original promoter Ajay Singh, while Vistara, a joint venture of the Tatas and Singapore Airlines, took to the skies in January this year.

Air Pegasus and Trujet also started services this year. Another positive for the sector was the entry of IndiGo in the Bombay Stock Exchange, the first for an airline in last nine years. The airline, which firmed up its order for 250 ‘A320neo’ aircraft of Airbus, raised over Rs 3,000 crore from the capital market.

Air India also did not make much negative news this year as it was slowly picking up pace on its turnaround plan with a new man, Ashwani Lohani, at its helm. Jet Airways, which also placed an order with Boeing for 75 fuel-efficient 737 Max single-aisle aircraft, subsumed its low-cost arm Jetlite into the main brand.
25/12/15 Shemin Joy/Deccan Herald
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