Tuesday, October 08, 2019

IndiGo, SpiceJet may give wings to rail travel

Soon, you could be boarding a train operated by carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet. The Indian Railways' plan to rope in private players to run its trains has drawn the attention of few airlines as well as travel portal MakeMyTrip, said sources in the Ministry of Railways.
Two big players from the catering sector have also shown interest, said the highly placed sources. Under this public-private partnership (PPP) model, railways remains the owner of the train, while an outsider takes care of ticketing, catering and cleaning.
The overwhelming response from the biggies has prompted the rail ministry to put the plan on the fast track. It will soon finalise the terms and conditions for private players to operate the trains before calling for bids. "This has been conveyed to the interested parties," said a source.
The railways last week launched the country's first 'private' train – the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express – in partnership with its catering arm IRCTC.
The ministry has already indicated that 150 trains will be operated through the PPP model in the next four to five years. Some these trains will run from Mumbai to places like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad and Madgaon.
08/10/19 Sameer Dixit/DNA

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