Airport ground-handling policy may be rescheduled

June 5th, 2008 - 12:36 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) The government may reschedule the new ground-handling policy, as operators of the new Bangalore airport have said that no airline with a market share below 25 percent would be allowed to do its own ground-handling. This is contrary to the government decision allowing all domestic carriers to carry out their own ground-handling till the end of this year. “This means none of the Indian air carriers will be able to do their own ground-handling,” said an airline official.

Even Jet Airways, the largest airline in terms of passengers, has a market share of only 21 percent, according to the figures available in April 2008.

An official said the Bangalore International Airport Ltd’s (BIAL) licence as an airport operator could be cancelled if it refuses to follow the government’s decision.

Sources said Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Kanu Gohain asked BIAL to follow the government policy but it is yet to respond.

The issue was taken up by the Delhi-based low-cost carrier IndiGo, one of the airlines which were refused to do self-handling at the airport by BIAL.

Under the new ground-handling policy, which is to be implemented across all airports Jan 1, 2009, either the airport operator or a joint venture company or any other ground-handling service provider would be allowed to offer ground-handling services.

Airlines have been opposing the policy saying that outsourcing the work to an external agent will considerably increase their airport expenditure.

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