Air India divestment should come with liberal terms: Top aviation official 

New Delhi, March 06, 2018:  Air India’s divestment should come with liberal terms for allowing more in-bound international flights to create a healthy competitive environments, a top aviation official said today.

Given the full-fledged commercial operations with international competition from major airlines, Air India should match in profits its competitors such as Singapore Airlines, Binit Somaia, director for South Asia at the Sydney-based Centre for Aviation (CAPA) said.

“If Air India is privatised, the policy setting rules will improve,” said Somaia here.

Air India has strong fundamentals, a fleet of about 150 aircraft, well established international routes and slots at airports, he said at the CAPA Global low cost carrier Summit held in Singapore from March 1-3.

“Also, India has the geographical location to be a major global hub,” he believes.

But he feels that national carrier’s divestment should also come with liberal terms, allowing more in-bound international flights for a creating a healthy competitive environments.

 Touching on the LCC businesses, Somaia noted that most small operators have been profitable and would go for regional routes.
On the infrastructure side, India is getting a good level of support from the US-India Aviation Cooperation Program, according to industry veteran Sandeep Bahl.
The Indian aviation market is lacking in the area of infrastructure and there are route already constrained with capacity, noted Bahl, Programme Director of the US-India Aviation Cooperation Programme.

PTI

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