The government has hit back at IndiGo airlines promoter Rahul Bhatia, strongly asserting that as owner of Air India (AI) it was “well within its rights to promote the national carrier and prepare it for competition.”
The government issued a statement on Wednesday “strongly refuting allegations” made by Bhatia that it was tinkering with “aviation policies for a select few.”
“We always knew we will have an artificial competitor in AI. What we didn’t know was the government will make relentless efforts to keep inefficient private operators afloat. When do you stop giving relief to people who are inefficient?” Bhatia had reportedly said in a business conference at Kolkata last week, in an indirect reference to Kingfisher Airlines.
“No regulatory frameworks anywhere in the world allow cancellation of airline licences merely for failing to pay staff salaries,” the government said, calling Bhatia’s comments “uncalled for and baseless.”
Private operators, it said, were not being provided any financial support.
“Regarding allegations of favouritism in traffic route allocations, it is clarified that all requests in this regard have been dealt with objectively.”