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AAI twists Air Deccan's tail

AAI wants a share of what the low cost carrier makes from ads on aircraft tail, writes Chanchal Pal Chauhan.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 02:30 IST
Chanchal Pal Chauhan
Chanchal Pal Chauhan

You may or may not have seen the ads painted on the tails of Air Deccan aircraft, but the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has. And now, it wants a share of what the low cost carrier makes from the ads.

Its logic: the aircraft land on AAI premises and the ads are seen by people who visit airports. It is AAI policy to claim a minimum of 11 per cent on ad revenues generated on its property by collaborators.

AAI's Mumbai office has sent a proposal to charge Air Deccan to headquarters in Delhi. The proposal has the blessings of the AAI employees union. Says Nitin Jhadav, the union general secretary: "Companies like Air Deccan are denying us revenues they are directly generating from the airport." The union also alleges that the carrier didn't seek AAI's permission before painting ads on the tails of its planes.

G.R. Gopinath, MD, Air Deccan, says: "It is my aircraft and I don't have to take permission from AAI for anything including advertisements. On the issue of revenue-sharing we have not received any communication from AAI yet." They might hear from AAI soon. R.V. Narayanan, of the AAI told the Hindustan Times from Delhi, "It is for the first time that we have noticed any airline putting up advertisements on their aircraft. We are looking at the legal aspects. Some action may follow."

In a similar dispute between the Delhi Metro (which sported advertising) and the capital's municipality (which asked for a share), the Delhi High Court ruled in the municipality's favour.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 02:30 IST