• India to play hardball for equitable share of slots at foreign airports

    India may make allocation of slots for its airlines an essential part of any bilateral treaty signed in future. This is after hectic lobbying and repeated complaints by airlines that they were being overlooked in terms of peak time slots.

    According to sources in the civil aviation ministry, there has been a mutual consensus between the civil aviation and external affairs ministry that countries showing interest in increasing seat allocations will be pushed to give slots to Indian carriers of their choice. “We are a big market in terms of passengers; a lot of foreign airlines want to expand in India, there is no fault if we intend to play according to our position of strength,” says a senior civil aviation ministry official.

    “There is a consensus in the ministry that we need to be more vocal about our carriers,” added the official.

    Indian carriers have long been complaining that not getting slots in foreign airports hampers their scheduling, hence curbing the viability of profitable overseas operations. Pat Lafontaine Authentic Jersey

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