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Merge Jet Airways with Air India: Subramanian Swamy

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 25, 2019 Published on April 25, 2019

Subramanian Swamy   -  THE HINDU

 

In a letter addressed to Suresh Prabhu, Civil Aviation minister, Subramanian Swamy, member of parliament recommended merging Jet Airways with Air India.

“The Ministry of Civil Aviation should strongly recommend to the cabinet that Jet Airways should be merged with Air India not only to ensure air services are not restricted but also to enable Air India to recover its former premier position,” said Swamy.

“Any other solution is likely to raise speculation about corruption at high places and will certainly invite litigation in court. Recommend to stop this plunder of national assets investment, and the infrastructure of Air India,” the member of parliament added.

Jet Airway’s several slots have been temporarily for a period of three months given to other airlines including Indigo, Spicejet and Vistara. “There is a serious effort going on by private airlines such as Spicejet and Vistara to benefit from this dismemberment of Jet Airways. This is being supported by some of your colleagues and officers whom I can name in a private meeting with you,” Swamy alleged.

According to Swamy, the closure of Jet Airways is adverse effects for passengers and domestic along with international air traffic with foreign airlines getting a higher share of the growing traffic which is not getting absorbed by the Indian carriers.

“I had opposed the Jet-Etihad FDI arrangement on the ground of the disproportionate share of airspace given to Etihad which is against the interest of domestic passenger traffic, and also against national interest.” In 2012, the government had announced that foreign airlines could have a stake of 49 per cent. After which Jet Airways and Etihad got into a strategic alliance in 2013.

In 2013, Swamy had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the Jet-Etihad deal. “My writ petition (888 of 2013) is now in the final hearing stage in the supreme court. In the mean time Jet Airways has folded up, making my case in court even stronger. The effect of the foreign direct investment of Etihad in Jet Airways and the implied bilateral agreement of air services between India and the UAE has primarily damaged Air India which is a government owned airline with huge assets that are extremely valuable,” he added.

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Published on April 25, 2019
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