The bosses of India’s five largest private airlines have met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek help in overcoming the aviation industry’s current crisis. The Economic Times reported that the bosses of Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir met with the PM for about an hour to discuss issues such as jet fuel taxation. Sources were reported saying that while Mr Singh heard the problems faced by the industry, he did not offer the airlines any assurances.
It is believed that the aviation chiefs also discussed the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian carriers. The government recently moved to allow 26% FDI by foreign airlines in the domestic carriers, because of what it called the “dire need of funds” for domestic airlines. While some airlines, such as loss-making Kingfisher, are thought to be in favour of such a move, others like Jet Airways and IndiGo are not.
Another item on the agenda was believed to be the allotment of air traffic rights to Indian and foreign carriers, the sources were reported saying. Airlines want the government to review this policy, saying that in some cases foreign countries are granted more rights to Indian cities than they offer to their own airports.
The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) estimates that domestic private carriers are likely to report a total loss of INR3,500 crore in the first six months of this financial year.