Aviation secretary meets representatives of airlines for reallocation of Jet Airways' international slots

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 06, 2019 17:18 hrs
Save Jet Airways (Image Courtesy: IANS)

The Ministry of Civil Aviation held a meeting on Friday with representatives of all domestic airlines to discuss reallocation of grounded Jet Airways' international slots.

Though Air India too is grappling with mounting debt but still running, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said preference will be given to the government-owned airline.

Among Indian carriers, Air India reportedly has the maximum number of international flights and serves 380 routes.

It operates 33 weekly flights to Chicago, New York JFK, San Francisco, Washington Dulles and Newark in the United States, besides 66 to London, Vienna, Paris, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Stockholm and Birmingham in Europe.

Before cash-strapped Jet Airways stopped operations on April 17, it served over 350 international routes. More than 85 aircraft of its 119-strong fleet have been de-registered, which means lessors with unpaid dues have been allowed to lease them to other airlines.

Other airlines have officially given their preferences of slots vacated by Jet Airways. But SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo, Vistara and Air Asia India do not have wide-bodied planes to fly on long-haul routes in Europe and the United States.

Hence most Air India may end up getting these routes. However, private airlines may get routes like Dubai, Colombo or Singapore from and to Indian cities.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways is under the management control of State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders following a debt-restructuring plan. But no firm bids have come forth yet to revive the airline.

Most of its senior executives, including Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube and Chief Financial Officer Amit Agarwal, have resigned from their positions.