Jet seeks govt nod to cut down NE flights
After posting a loss of Rs 298 crore in the last quarter, Jet Airways has sought government clearance to scale down its flights to the northeastern region by about a half to stem losses.india Updated: Jun 24, 2012 22:22 IST
After posting a loss of Rs 298 crore in the last quarter, Jet Airways has sought government clearance to scale down its flights to the northeastern region by about a half to stem losses.
Operations in the northeast are guided by the government’s Route Dispersal Guidelines (RDG), which entails that all Indian carriers fly to the northeast and other remote parts of the country, more so as a social obligation.
The airline, which currently operates around 38 daily services in several northeastern destinations, has written to the civil aviation ministry to allow it bring these operations down by nearly 50%, sources said, adding there has been no response from the ministry on the matter yet.
Recently, a panel headed by Air India CMD Rohit Nandan, reviewed and recommended the revision of RDG. The panel made it mandatory for airlines to deploy a certain minimum percentage of their passenger carrying capacity or available seat per kilometre deployed on major trunk routes onto smaller cities and towns. Justifying its move to approach the Ministry, a top Jet said that the northeastern region had “a huge over-capacity and any reduction in services there would not have any bearing on the connectivity.”
“When the guidelines were first formulated in 1994, there were only 28 flights a week flying to the Northeast. Today there are 378 flights a week, which represents over 100% increase in the number of flights. So, there is a huge over-capacity on these routes,” the official said.
“What Jet has asked for from the government constitutes hardly a fraction of this capacity,” he added. “At a time when all airlines are bleeding due to flying on sectors with less than 40% load factor, it is devoid of economic rationale to operate there. We waste precious commodities such as fuel and foreign exchange for aircraft, engine parts etc by flying on such sectors.”
The Naresh Goyal-owned carrier has already decided to withdraw its flights to South Africa and New York (JFK), besides some short-haul flights to the Gulf as part of its consolidation plans.