The Civil Aviation Ministry has extended the validity of all Jet Airways slots, which were allocated to other domestic airlines, till December, according to a senior government official.
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The government had allocated some of the slots of Jet Airways to all domestic airlines for a period of three months till September after the carrier shut operations for an indefinite but temporary period.
Jet Airways’ temporary suspension of operations on April 17 had left a void of 766 slots with nearly 55 percent or 420 of these at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Nagpur airports.
These slots have been allocated by a committee comprising of officials from regulator DGCA, Airports Authority of India and private airport operators.
Airlines were required to submit plan on aircraft induction and crew availability at least three working days ahead of the bi-monthly meeting of slot allocation committee. Priority however was given to those airlines which are adding capacity or aircraft, serving virgin and underserved routes, withdrawing aircraft from adequately served routes and gave a proposed date of commencement of operations.
Earlier, slots were allocated till July or for a period of three months starting May 1. This arrangement was extended till September. As the government has now extended the validity of the allocated slots till December, it remains to be seen whether it gives the allocated slots to the carriers on a permanent basis or forms a new method to reallocate slots.
"It will also depend on the Jet Airways resolution exercise," an official said.
As per advisory by DGCA, airlines must keep in mind that this transfer is for an interim period, as of now, and slots can be withdrawn with 30 day prior notice.
While the slot allocation committee has been working on distributing the vacant slots of Jet Airways to other carriers since March 20, only 479 slots were allocated till May.
In terms of gainers as of May, SpiceJet topped getting 130 slots which was the maximum at the Mumbai airport (68 out of the vacated 214).
SpiceJet was followed by IndiGo which, as of May, got 127 slots under three phases with maximum gains at the Delhi airport (38 out of 118 slots). Vistara received 110 slots till May. GoAir and AirAsia had received 44 and 42 slots each, Air India got 24 and its regional arm Alliance Air received two.
First Published: Aug 20, 2019 4:32 PM IST
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