Air India will fly on the routes of the grounded Jet Airways in five countries, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha. The route allocation is temporary until the end of the summer schedule this year.
“Bilateral rights of Jet Airways have been temporarily allocated to Air India/Air India Express till end of summer schedule 2019 for the sectors as follows – India-Dubai at 5,852 seats per week; India-Hong Kong at 1,792 seats per week; India-Qatar at 5,670 seats per week; India-Singapore at 1,620 seats per week; India-UK at 4,788 seats per week,” Puri said.
Jet Airways dismissed the operations on 17 April 2019 after the financial crisis. The sudden grounding of one of the top airlines in the industry led to a surge in airfare. The Central Government intervened and temporarily allocated the routes of grounded Jet Airways’ routes to other airlines so that the airlines could fill the supply-demand gap.
As such, domestic slots of 22 flights are allocated to Air India. Most of these domestic flights run on routes such as Delhi-Bhopal, Bhopal-Pune, Delhi-Raipur, Delhi-Bengaluru, Delhi-Amritsar, Chennai-Bengaluru and Chennai-Ahmedabad.
For international slots left vacant by Jet Airways, the process changes as it involves bilateral air service agreement with the country. Before any flight can operate to another country, the two countries have to discuss, negotiate and sign a bilateral air service agreement deciding how many flights per week will be allowed to fly from one country to another. Once the deal is signed, the country is free to allocate the flying rights to one of its airlines. The airline must have free slots at the airports in both countries to commence the operations.
The slots of airlines are decided by few stakeholders of the industry together, including the officials from the Civil Aviation Ministry, airport operators, airlines, Indian aviation regulator DGCA, among others.
Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction, and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain. Find her on Twitter here - @rialakshman.