Private airlines choose to go with existing ground handlers in Kolkata

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on June 01, 2011 Published on June 01, 2011

Once in force, new policy will narrow airlines' options

Having contested the proposed ground handling policy of the Centre, private airlines affiliated to the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) are entering into agreements with existing ground handlers of their respective choice at the Kolkata airport.

The airlines, which are not affiliated to FIA, are however appointing the “third party” ground handler, according to the new policy directives.

According to the new policy, the airlines have to appoint either Air India or the airport operator or a private agency selected through competitive bidding by the respective airport authorities.

The policy – designed to ensure airport security by reducing multiplicity of ground handlers – was scheduled to be implemented in six metro airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore from April 1.

According to officials at the Kolkata airport, private airlines such as Jet Airways, Indigo and Spicejet among others have since February 2011 been renewing their annual contracts with existing ground handlers and not Bhadra International, the ground handling agency who will operate in the Kolkata and Chennai airports.

Contracts have been renewed for one year, a ground handling agency operating at the Kolkata airport told Business Line.

“The private airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bhadra but it does not have any financial implications. All contracts with the existing ground handlers will be terminated once the new ground handling policy comes into effect,” Mr B.P. Sharma, Airport Director, told Business Line.

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Published on June 01, 2011
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