Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Flight cancellations: MIAL may not claim insurance for losses

Mumbai: Days after flight operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai were severely affected due to a SpiceJet aircraft skidding off the main runway late September 19 after heavy rains, aviation safety consultants believe the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) may not be able to claim insurance for the losses incurred due to subsequent cancellation of multiple flights. According to experts, the incident may not be classified as an “accident”.
For MIAL, cancellation of 181 flights on September 20 resulted in multiple losses — landing fees, parking charges of the aircraft, material and personnel services used at the airport paid by the airlines. “In such cases, MIAL may claim insurance from their insurers for the losses incurred on Wednesday. They may ask SpiceJet to compensate them for losses incurred that day,” said Mohan Ranganathan, former instructor pilot of Boeing 737 and an aviation safety consultant.
On September 20, 63 Jet Airways flights, eight IndiGo flights, three SpiceJet flights and one GoAir flight were cancelled. Airlines claimed affected passengers were offered waiver of cancellation charges, given refunds or adjusted on board larger aircraft to ferry them to their destinations. The experts ruled out possibility of the operator hiking parking charges or infrastructure costs for the airlines in future as it needs to be done after consulting regulators, including the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. “In this scenario, all the affected airlines and MIAL may want to claim an insurance. Each airline will abide by the details of their insurance policy, which could be used to avail the cost. It may be difficult for MIAL to recover the same as the losses incurred may be much more than the premium costs paid,” said a senior aviation safety consultant who has closely worked on framing national civil aviation policy.
26/09/17 Neha Kulkarni/Indian Express