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Last Updated : Nov 18, 2018 02:39 PM IST | Source:

Airlines object to govt's charter to ease air travel: Report

The ministry invited public consultation on the draft on May 21 and got the responses from passenger associations, airlines and airport operators

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The government has put on hold a so-called passenger charter, which detailed the rights of flyers, as financially troubled airlines raised objections to it, reports Hindustan Times.

Sources from the Civil Aviation Ministry told the paper that the first draft of the charter said passengers could cancel their tickets for free if done within 24 hours of booking and at least four days ahead of the departure of the flight.

The draft allows passengers to make changes to the name at no additional cost. Apart from these suggestions, airlines also did not approve of the compensation customers would get if flights were cancelled.

"The airlines have requested us to look into the high compensation charges as fares in India are very low and such high compensation cannot be justified. Their second main objection is allowing cancellation as their business will get affected if this is allowed," an official said.

If a flight is delayed for over four hours, the draft states that passengers would be entitled to a refund. This, even if the delay is communicated in advance. Moreover, if a flyer misses their connecting flight due to this delay, they will receive a refund ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000.

Passengers must also be provided hot snacks and beverages for free if their flight is on the tarmac for over 60 minutes. They must be de-boarded if that time limit crosses 120 minutes.

The ministry invited public consultation on the draft on May 21 and received responses from passenger associations, airlines and airport operators. There have been two rounds of meetings with stakeholders regarding the charter, the report said.

Another official said airlines are posting losses due to rising fuel cost and a weaker rupee and therefore they feel this is not a good time to notify the passenger charter.

The Air Passenger Association of India (APAI) called the delay unjustified, saying it has been demanding a passenger charter for eight years. "Someone who makes mistakes will have to pay the penalty, so why is the Aviation Ministry protecting those who are making mistakes? If the airlines are not making a profit, this might make them work more professionally," D Sudhakara Reddy, Founder of APAI, told the paper.

Jet Airways and Air India are already in crisis and the airline industry is looking for some relief from the Aviation Ministry and major airlines including IndiGo and Spicejet reported losses in their Q2 FY19 results.
First Published on Nov 18, 2018 02:39 pm
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