Friday, January 28, 2011

More flights to remote areas likely

The aviation ministry is planning to expand the scope of existing route dispersal guidelines for airlines that define a dozen key metro routes from the region according to air traffic

Indian carriers may be asked to increase connectivity to remote areas on the region inside a move that could raise prices for airlines even as it aims to evenly distribute the growth in domestic air traffic, which crossed the 52mn mark last year. The aviation ministry is planning to expand the scope of existing route dispersal guidelines for airlines that define a dozen key metro routes from the region according to air traffic. Airlines need to ply at least 10% of their total metro flights on routes covering destinations that are not well connected and are a smaller amount profitable, including Jammu and Kashmir, the North-East, Lakshadweep, and also the Andaman and Nicobar islands. "The targeted traffic has elevated more than the years and there is a situation for revising these metro routes. Kochi-Bangalore and Bangalore-Hyderabad are also at par in terms of targeted traffic now," mentioned a ministry official, who declined being named. "DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is getting asked to appear into it and rework."

The regulator defines high-traffic metro routes currently as Mumbai-Bangalore, Kolkata-Delhi, Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Bangalore, Mumbai-Delhi, Kolkata-Chennai, Mumbai-Hyderabad, Delhi-Bangalore, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Hyderabad, Mumbai-Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi-Chennai. If, for example, Kochi-Bangalore and Hyderabad-Bangalore are added to this list, the amount of flights that airlines ply on a smaller amount profitable routes will simultaneously increase. Civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi needs the definition being widened to cover such routes, the ministry official said. In 2009, DGCA had banned national airlines from buying seat-miles from so-called regional carriers to meet regulatory requirements, as Mint reported on 24 April. Wadia Group's low-fare carrier GoAir bought seats from Gurgaon-based MDLR Airlines Pvt. Ltd in 2008 after it was unable to meet route dispersal requirements as it was focused on just flying metro routes then.

Most national airlines including GoAir prefer these metro routes, which provide far better passenger targeted traffic and yields, besides helping to save prices as aircraft maintenance facilities require not be based at multiple airports. Any move to widen the metro route definition is likely to force all airlines to rework their schedules in line on the new guidelines, that are likely to come up for consultation soon. An official having a domestic carrier confirmed how the matter has been discussed with airlines, but called it illogical and against the recommendations on the Naresh Chandra panel report of 2003 over a aviation sector. The report, offered over a aviation ministry website, had advised that "route dispersal guidelines need to be abolished" and airlines need to be allowed to assistance the routes of their choice, according to commercial considerations.

It had also advised that "the federal government need to provide explicit subsidy support-preferably from the general exchequer and supplemented by a sector-specific cess of 5% on airfare and proceeds from the privatization of airports-for providing essential, but uneconomical services, and award it via a method of minimum subsidy bidding". The creation of a non-lapsable important air services fund was an ideal solution for this, it said. None of these recommendations had been employed so far. "Where there is no demand on Kolkata-Silchar, they want you to put jumbos. You happen to be forcing the industry being sick," mentioned the airline official. You'll find other constraints at such low-traffic destinations, he said. In Srinagar, for example, wherever the amount of daily flights have elevated drastically through the years, this official pointed offered are no night-landing facilities, leaving tiny scope for more flights to consume off or state following sunset.
Source: India Infoline

1 comment:

  1. Nice Article:
    it is a good news for us that more flights to remote areas.


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