Mon, Dec 15, 2003
Cheaper Fares, No More Long Waits
As the worldwide
aviation industry continues to suffer the effects of 9/11, India,
for one, is trying to do something about it. The government in New
Delhi, along with airlines in that country, are revamping, hoping
to attract more passengers and boost revenues.
"The whole aviation policy is being framed with the consumer in
mind. While the policy-making exercise is still underway, steps are
being taken to set the pace for the smooth take-off of this
industry," says one government official.
Civil Aviation Administrator Rajiv Pratap Rudy says the changes
will be permanent.
Under the plan, private carriers will be allowed to fly
international. Foreign airlines will be allowed to buy up to 49
percent of Indian-owned airline stock. Commuter airlines flying
aircraft with fewer than 80 seats will be exempted from landing and
So far, reaction from the aviation industry on the subcontinent
is mostly favorable. "Proposals like allowing domestic airlines to
fly abroad, getting more carriers to India and smoothening the
procedures at airports are easier to implement. What needs to be
seen is how the government goes ahead with reducing levies on ATF,"
says Kapil Kaul, Vice President at the Center for Asia Pacific
Aviation. But, he warned, "The government needs the political will
to help the policy sail through smoothly."
It's all part of a new civil aviation policy in India, expected
to be finished by the end of next month.
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