New Delhi: Top Indian airline executives under the banner of Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) on Wednesday met union minister Jitendra Singh and sought their concerns be addressed before finalising the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP).
Aditya Ghosh, president, Indigo, Narayan Hariharan, senior vice president, Jet Airways, Ajab Singh, CMD, SpiceJet and Jeh Wadia, MD, Go Airlines sought the government’s intervention to avoid discrimination in the NCAP being prepared by the civil aviation ministry.
“Should also be kept on board as stakeholders during the consultations before finalising the new policy,” said a memorandum submitted by the executives to Singh.
Raising their voice against foreign airlines taking control of some Indian airlines, the memorandum said: “No other country in the world allows substantial ownership and effective control of its airlines to be taken over by foreign airlines. India has permitted some airlines to operate despite being effectively controlled by their foreign parent.”
Demanding a level playing field along with foreign and new airlines, they highlighted that the proposed exemption of 5/20 rule, under which an airline can only apply to fly international routes after gaining five years of local flying experience with a minimum of 20 aircraft in its fleet, for new airlines will amount to injustice to the existing airlines.
The memorandum by the FAI, which claims to represent 90 percent of Indian airline industry, expressed reservations against the proposal to auction bilateral rights, noting no country auctions its sovereign right to others.
Another point raised by the memorandum refers to the non-obligation of new airlines to fly to remote and backward areas which is being executed by existing airlines.
“As far as the sector-wise benefits, the already operating airlines from India would be at disadvantage, because it is they who came forward to operate in sensitive areas including Jammu and Kashmir and northeast,” it added.