Private airlines not keen to operate in northeast: NEC

September 4th, 2012 - 12:22 am ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Sep 3 (IANS) The North Eastern Council (NEC) is not finding a suitable airline company to operate in the northeastern states, an official of the regional planning body said Monday.

“We had floated tenders thrice to select a dedicated airline to operate in the region but no big private players showed any interest to operate their service in the region,” council secretary U.K.Sangma told journalists here.

The NEC plans to run a dedicated airline in the northeast interlinking all the important cities and towns in the region.

Although, small airline operators had participated in the bidding process, but the NEC found their proposals were mainly to get the project advance first for buying an aircraft, he said.

“Our failure to get dedicated airline to operate in the region is mainly because the aviation industry is a market-driven,” Sangma said.

In 2001, the NEC had signed an agreement with the Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, for operating in the region, but discontinued the agreement in December 2011 due to its “poor performance’.

“We cancelled our agreement with Alliance Air due to its poor performance December 2011, especially after the Nagaland government had complained that flights from Dimapur were cancelled so many times,” Sangma said.

The NEC paid Rs.49 crore annually through viability gap funding to Alliance Air for operating air services within the region.

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