Monday, August 28, 2017

Policy push for local air hubs

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi-government wants to transform the metro airports into global aviation hubs, like the ones in Dubai and Singapore, through a series of policies, including stalling bilateral deals that favour rival airports.

The move, officials feel, will also address the aviation sector's financial woes.

Both the finance and the civil aviation ministries feel there is a need to stop feeding rival airports in Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Istanbul while major domestic airports and airlines remain under-utilised on global routes.

A number of policies are being considered to make the metros more cost effective for airlines to fly internationally. These include lower parking fees, incentives to airlines to take up unused flying rights and changes in visa rules to allow easier transit to passengers travelling from neighbouring and Southeast Asian countries to Europe and the US.
"India can be a hub for neighbouring countries to fly to Europe and the US. We have to be imaginative. Singapore gives a three-day transit to anyone with a valid visa and ticket to Europe, the US or Australia as they know these travellers have been vetted by stringent checks. The result is funneling of passengers as well as spending in dollars in Singapore's hotels and duty-free stores," said aviation ministry officials.
Officials point out that besides Air India, whose huge losses have forced the government to put it on the block, at least two major airlines have negative net worth and huge borrowings.
27/08/17 Jayanta Roy Chowdhury/Telegraph