Air India To Be First Beneficiary Of Jet Airways’ Overseas Rights, Says Official
Air India will be the first beneficiary of Jet Airways (India) Ltd.’s underutilised international traffic rights, according to a senior government official.
Air India has got one or two international flight routes of Jet Airways and is likely to get more because they have spare fleet capacity, the official told BloombergQuint requesting anonymity, adding that the civil aviation ministry is designing a framework to re-allocate overseas traffic rights to local carriers. The process, he said, will involve extensive discussions within the government as these routes have been secured through bilateral air services agreements and treaties.
Re-allocation of international routes, according to aviation expert Amrit Pandurangi, will depend on the ability of an airline to fly on those routes. “In the past they gave unutilised international routes to Air India and then allocated the rest to other airlines,” he said. “They should go for a transparent and fair policy.”
The aviation secretary will chair a meeting on May 17 with airline operators to discuss re-allocation of Jet Airways’ international routes, another government official told BloombergQuint on condition of anonymity. Both the officials requested anonymity as they aren’t authorised to speak to the media.
Jet Airways’ international routes include flights to Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Dhaka, Bahrain, Kuwait, Kathmandu, Dammam and Riyadh.
The development comes a month after the crisis-hit airline was grounded. Jet Airways had a fleet of 119 planes, of which 75 were deployed in domestic routes.
The aviation ministry had in April formed a committee comprising airport operators and Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials to allocate underutilised slots of Jet Airways for three months. Of the 750 slots which were vacant at Indian airports, the committee has allocated 480 slots to other airlines, the second official cited earlier said.