Monday, October 16, 2017

Capt GR Gopinath's Air Deccan fails to get enough landing slots in Delhi, Mumbai airports

Mumbai: GR Gopinath said his return to aviation is facing turbulence because the new carrier hasn’t got enough landing slots or parking space at airports in Delhi and Mumbai, India’s busiest. The airports say they don’t have the capacity to offer any more.
“The airports are the most important hubs in the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) network of Air Deccan,” he said. “Without parking bays, aircraft can’t even be imported,” Gopinath said this is despite top government officials interceding on his behalf. GMR Infra and GVK Power and Infra operate the Delhi and Mumbai airports, respectively. GMR also handles Hyderabad and GVK until recently controlled Bengaluru airport before selling it to Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings. Together, the four privately-held airports handle more than 60% of India’s flights.

Under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme, bids were sought for 128 routes. Air Odisha won the maximum number of 50 routes, while Air Deccan came second with 34. Of these, 16 routes link Delhi, but it’s got only four landing slots. It has 10 linking Mumbai, where it has again got four slots. Air Odisha has 10 routes from Delhi and has got two slots.

A Delhi airport spokesperson said it had moved to a profile slot-structure from the flat-slotstructure, so incumbent airlines with years of operations at the airport get a preference over newcomers.
16/10/17 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times