Two domestic airlines — Air India and IndiGo — are ready to start international operations from the Chandigarh international airport while others have ‘issues’, the Punjab and Haryana high court was told on Tuesday, during the resumed hearing on a petition filed by Mohali Industries Association on the matter.
However, these airlines still need certain clearances before starting operations. For instance, Air India is yet to get clearance from the Bureau of Immigration (the ministry of home affairs), which the court was told could be given by the next date of hearing on May 24. Meanwhile, the ministry of home affairs has approved the standard operating procedure for Air India to start operation.
IndiGo, which had raised the issue of Punjab Customs authorities declining clearance for bonded liquor facility at the airport, was told in the courtroom itself that they had got the approval.
During the pre- lunch session, when the court was apprised by IndiGo that they were yet to get clearance from the Customs, the HC bench asked officials concerned to remain present in the afternoon. Later, when the hearing resumed, the court was told that IndiGo had been given permission for the same.
During the hearing, Jet Airways, Go Air and Air Asia said they had no plans to start international operations anytime now. Air Vistara, which has started domestic flight from the city recently, said it was not eligible.
SpiceJet, though not represented during the hearing, had told the ministry of civil aviation on May 6 that it did not have any plans to start international flights.
‘List problems within a week’
The HC bench of justice SS Saron and justice Gurmit Ram has now directed the airlines to list out the problems they foresee in starting the operations at the city airport within a week and the ministry of civil aviation has been asked to submit action-taken-report on the next hearing. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been asked to apprise the court of how many international airlines had shown willingness to start operations.