Sunday, February 21, 2016

Tata spars with older airlines

Bengaluru : A spat has erupted in civil aviation sector with the Tatas-funded twin carriers and older airlines arguing over whether the 5/20 rule should be retained or relaxed in the new aviation policy.

Hours after Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, in a tweet, favoured waiver of the 5/20 rule, which mandates five years experience and 20 aircraft fleet to qualify to fly abroad, budget carrier SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh joined issue, seeking it be retained.

“It is sad to see incumbent (old) airlines lobbying for protection and preferential treatment for themselves against the new airlines, which have been formed in full compliance with prevailing government policy and providing air transport to Indian citizens in line with the dream of ‘New India’,” tweeted Tata.

In rebuttal, Ajay Singh said: “All of us were asked to serve our great country before we got profitable rights to fly abroad. We served with great pride. What is wrong if these two foreign-controlled airlines are also asked to serve India before being allowed to fly international?”
Tata Sons-funded full-fledged airline Vistara with nine planes and budget carrier AirAsia India with six aircraft are opposed to the 5/20 rule, as they both are less than two years old and hence not eligible to operate international flights. Vistara is a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, while AirAsia India is a tri venture with Air Asia Berhard of Malaysia and Arun Bhatia’s Telstra.

Noting that the lobbying for such policies was reminiscent of the protectionist and monopolistic pressures exerted by vested interests which seem to fear competition, Tata lamented that such moves hold back progress, compared to that in open economies which thrived on competition abroad.
22/02/16 IANS/Free Press Journal
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline