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Government to allocate 440 vacant cash-strapped Jet Airways slots on interim basis to other airlines

  • Jet Airways is expected to provide information next week to the ministry about tickets booked by passengers and how it plans to refund them

  • There are 280 vacant slots at Mumbai airport and over 160 at Delhi airport

  • The slots would be allocated for three months by a committee, comprising officials from DGCA, Airports Authority of India and respective airports

New Delhi: With Jet Airways suspending operations, as many as 440 slots are vacant at Delhi and Mumbai airports which will be allocated to other airlines in a transparent manner, a senior official said Thursday.

Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola also said Jet Airways is expected to provide information next week to the ministry about tickets booked by passengers and how it plans to refund them.

The grounding of planes by Jet Airways has resulted in capacity reduction in the domestic sector, which has also led to a spurt in airfares in many sectors. The ministry has also asked airlines to keep fares at affordable levels and not indulge in predatory pricing ways.

The ministry on Thursday held separate meetings with airport operators and airlines, where issues related to slots, passengers and fares were discussed.

Kharola  on Thursday said the 440 slots vacated by Jet Airways at Delhi and Mumbai airports would be allocated to other airlines on an interim basis through a "rational, fair and equitable" manner.

There are 280 vacant slots at Mumbai airport and over 160 at Delhi airport. These two aerodromes are among the busiest in the country.

The slots would be allocated for three months by a committee, comprising officials from the DGCA, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and respective airports.

 Government to allocate 440 vacant cash-strapped Jet Airways slots on interim basis to other airlines

Jet Airways aircraft are seen parked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai. Reuters

Kharola also said around 30 more planes would be inducted by various airlines in next three months.

Besides, a decision on 20-30 leased planes of Jet Airways that have been grounded is likely next week as some airlines have expressed interest in taking them, he added.

With the additions, Kharola said there would be a "healthy growth in capacity".

In the last five months, around 75 planes were out of the domestic sector due to groundings by Jet Airways. During the same period, about 58 aircraft were inducted by various carriers, he noted.

Kharola also said that some airlines are in talks with banks for taking wide body planes of Jet Airways.

As per official data, a total of 74 planes have been inducted by carriers since October last year.

"We wanted to know from Jet Airways on how many passengers have booked tickets and how they plan to refund it.

"Jet has said that they have to collect information from all over the world and they will be coming to meet us on Monday or Tuesday...," he said.

He was responding to queries about refund of tickets booked with Jet Airways.

Further, he said that global airlines' grouping IATA holds back some money of the booked tickets. International air tickets are booked through IATA system.

"The credit card companies are also holding back some money. They have not been transferring all the money to Jet Airways. We have the cushion there," Kharola said in response to the question about refund to passengers.

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Updated Date: Apr 19, 2019 07:29:50 IST