G.V. Sanjay Reddy, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry (southern region), has said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is “there to put down airports, not promote them.”
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Reddy, who was in the city recently, said “frankly, IATA is an industry body representing airlines. They have vested interests.”
He criticised the IATA for classifying Delhi as the most expensive airport in the world. “IATA is being very unreasonable, and it’s not thinking in the interests of partnerships.”
Mr. Reddy, who is also the Managing Director of Mumbai International Airport Ltd, said some of IATA’s statements “are ridiculous, if not downright wrong as is in the case with respect to Delhi. They can say anything that they want as long as they get published. But the facts are not correct,” he added.
Recalling an earlier IATA report prior to privatisation rolled across in the sector, Mr. Reddy said the IATA said India had the most expensive airports in the world. But it was when it came to drawing comparisons that IATA gave the game away. Here, they could not look beyond Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. “So they can select anything they want, say anything they want, and still hope to get away with all. I know Delhi did not comment on the IATA remarks for a few days. But if it were to make such a comment about Mumbai, I would certainly refute them then and there. In fact, one of our studies said that of the top 50 airports in the world, Mumbai was the 50th in terms of costs.”
Mr. Reddy said “IATA’s stand on Delhi is ridiculously extreme. “Yes, I think Delhi is expensive in some sectors. I am not suggesting it is not. At the end of the day, these kinds of issues must be raised when projects are bid out. It’s not as if it has been done in an arbitrary manner now,” he said.