Airlines may keep Jet slots, foreign rights till March-end

Airport slots and foreign traffic rights are prime assets for a buyer of Jet Airways. File photo: Reuters  

The Centre is likely to allow domestic carriers to keep Jet Airways’s slots at domestic airports and its foreign traffic rights until the end of March, or during the winter schedule, a senior official of the Civil Aviation Ministry said.

“The airlines said that a temporary allocation of Jet Airways’s slots and traffic rights for three months put them at a disadvantage as they are left with a shorter booking period as compared to foreign carriers and requested that these to be given to them until the end of the winter schedule. We will consider their request,” P.S. Kharola, Secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry, told The Hindu. The airlines raised the issue at a meeting with the Ministry last week.

Airlines plan their flight schedules twice a year — summer and winter schedules. The winter schedule will be in force from the last Sunday of October to the last Saturday of March. The government’s decision will help the airlines plan their flights for the winter season before they file their schedule with the Director General of Civil Aviation.

In April, the Ministry allotted 440 of the 750 airport slots held by Jet Airways to various carriers for three months after the Mumbai-headquartered airline stopped flying due to cash constraints. This was extended in August until the end of December.

Jet Airways’s foreign traffic rights (number of seats an airlines can operate to international destinations a week) were distributed in June to IndiGo (84 weekly flights), SpiceJet (77 weekly flights), GoAir (30 weekly flights) and Vistara (28 weekly flights) for three months, which was also extended until December-end. Air India had received these rights for five international destinations in May. The government has not granted these permanently as these could be prime assets for a potential buyer of Jet Airways.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 3:27:00 AM |

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