Thursday, March 03, 2016

Claiming disparity, FIA threatens to curtail NE services

New Delhi: Accusing the Centre of disparity, the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) on Wednesday threatened to cut down its services in the landlocked Northeastern region.

"We have our objections to the National Civil Aviation Policy 2015. The views of all the stakeholders have not been taken into consideration while preparing the policy. We appeal to the government to reconsider it or else we will be forced to minimize our services in the Northeastern region," said Aditya Ghosh, president and whole time director of IndiGo.

Alleging disparity, the federation alleged that the government has given much more attention to the new airlines AirAsia India and Vistara - both operated by the Tatas through joint ventures with foreign partners.

"Removal of the so-called 5/20 Rule is equivalent to discrimination against the old players and would, in turn, favour the new players," said Ajay Singh, chairman & managing director of SpiceJet.

The 2005 guidelines specified five years in operation in domestic sector and minimum fleet size of 20 aircraft as the eligibility criteria. It was revised in 2009 which is applicable till date. However, the new criteria excluded all cargo service players, including AirAsia India and Vistara.

Members of FIA comprising Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir have claimed that any review of the 5/20 Rule for domestic carriers wanting to fly abroad cannot be done in isolation and needs to be done in conjunction with another set of rules - the Route Dispersal Guidelines (RDG).
02/03/16 Sentinel
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