Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Are you the mouthpiece for lobbying foreign airlines? Union Minister Hardeep Puri slams ET for misleading report on Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission

On Monday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri slammed the Economic Times for allegedly becoming a mouthpiece for foreign aviation companies and accused them of making misleading claims on the Vande Bharat Mission, a repatriation operation being run by the Indian government to bring back stranded Indians in different parts of the world in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

In a report titled, “Rough weather for those boarding Vande Bharat”, the Economic Times had published various claims targeting the Modi government’s Vande Bharat Mission. In its report, the ET had claimed that those people wanting to come back to Bharat or fly out are more than ‘fed up’ with the Vande Bharat Mission.

Further, the report alleged that the national carrier Air India has been charging exorbitant charges to bring back stranded Indians from different parts of the world. The report claimed that Air India is ‘getting flak’ for what customers say exorbitant and arbitrary pricing and a poorly run website.

“Many customers are clamouring for the government to allow more airlines, including foreign carriers to operate scheduled repatriation flights from overseas,” said the ET report while batting on behalf of private and foreign airlines to be allowed to run flights to repatriate Indians.

According to ET, the charges for an economy class flight ticket under Vande Bharat Mission from Delhi to Houston starts at Rs 1.03 lakh, which is twice of normal economy class fares. Similarly, Delhi-Toronto and Delhi-Vancouver tickets are priced at Rs 1.07 lakh. The ET claimed that the flights to the US and UK are at least 50 per cent higher than the normal fare.

The ET also made random allegations such as random fare hikes, non-responsive, slow Air India website, higher fuel charges etc against Air India to discredit the Vande Bharat Mission.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday took to Twitter to respond to the allegations made by the Economic Times in its article. Calling it a ‘new low’, the Civil Aviation Minister Puri gave a point-to-point explanation debunking all the claims made by ET in its report.

Accusing the ET of becoming a mouthpiece for foreign airlines, Union Minister Puri asked ET who were these people who are ‘fed up’ with the Vande Bharat Mission. “Are they the nearly 70,000 people who have returned to India or the more than 17000 who have flown out?” Hardeep Singh Puri questioned Economic Times for their misleading report.

The Minister asked whether people who booked nearly 22,000 online tickets to US-Canada within few hours of opening of bookings or the 22,000 Indians who intend to book their tickets for the returning flight are the ones who are ‘fed up?’
09/06/20 OpIndia
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment