Policy

Revival of Air India first priority, says Ravi

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 25, 2011 Published on January 25, 2011

Air India is the ‘fate of India' and all efforts will be made to reclaim its past glory, according to Mr Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Overseas Indian Affairs.

Speaking to newspersons here, he said that his first priority was revival of Air India as the national carrier.

INDUSTRY FLAGSHIP

While doing so, he would ensure that the private sector also get its due share of the skies. But Air India must be able to play the role of the industry's flagship.

The Union Minister conceded the enormity of the task and said that the revival would take time. Discussions would be held with all stakeholders, including employees, the Airports Authority of India and private airlines.

“The priority would be to tackle problems related to air travel,” he said.

Other challenges that Air India faces are shortage of aircraft and competition from private airliners. The airline's finances were far from being stable.

High fares, particularly during the peak holiday season, went against the interests of passengers, particularly of expatriates travelling in the West Asia sector.

But this was the business practice adopted by the larger industry.

FARE HIKE

On demands for a new fare revision triggered by the hike in aviation fuel, Mr Ravi said he would leave it to the Director-General of Civil Aviation for a decision.

A decision on the purchase of aircraft had already been taken and the issue now at stake was timely delivery.

On the levy of user fee at Thiruvananthapuram airport, the Minister said that he was now not averse to re-examining this aspect.

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Published on January 25, 2011
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