Bilateral flying rights with five countries, which were previously allocated to Jet Airways, have now been temporarily given to Air India till the end of the summer schedule of this year, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said Wednesday.
As Jet Airways ran out of funds, it had shut down its operations on April 17 this year which lead to a sudden rise in domestic and international airfares.
As a result, the central government decided to temporarily allocate the domestic slots as well as international flying rights of Jet Airways to other airlines who could start new flights immediately and fill the supply gap.
“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 in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
The minister said the domestic slots for 22 flights, which were vacated by Jet Airways, have been allocated to Air India.
These domestic Air India flights are running on the routes such as Delhi-Bhopal, Bhopal-Pune, Delhi-Raipur, Delhi-Bengaluru, Delhi-Amritsar, Chennai-Bengaluru and Chennai-Ahmedabad, he said.
Before a country’s airline can operate international flights to another country, the two have to negotiate and sign a “bilateral air services agreement”, which decides how many total flights (or seats) per week can be allowed to fly from one nation to another.
Once such an agreement is signed, each country is free to allocate these flying rights to its respective airlines.
Even after such flying rights are allocated to an airline, it must have slots at both the airports in order to start flight operations.
Slot is a date and time at which an airline’s aircraft is permitted to depart or arrive at an airport.
The slots are allocated by a committee that consists of officials from the Civil Aviation Ministry, airport operators, airlines, Indian aviation regulator DGCA, among others.
Jet Airways evicted from Siroya Centre
The move may attract legal action as the distressed airline is undergoing an insolvency resolution process directed by India’s bankruptcy court.
Siroya Centre, located in Andheri (east) in the western suburbs of the city, had been leased to Jet and been its workplace for close to a decade. The evacutation move happened last night. The property has been already put up for lease through commercial real estate services firm JLL, its website showed.
A team of insolvency professionals headed by Grant Thornton’s Ashish Chhawchharia had also been working out of Jet’s office space in addition to what remains of Jet’s management. They will now either file a complain to the police or get a court order as a remedial action to stall the evacuation, said the person cited above.
Under the insolvency proceedings, there is a complete moratorium of all claims, proceedings, cases and notices to Jet. No property, asset of the airline—either in custody or used by it—can be attached by anyone.
The insolvency resolution process started after the National Company Law Tribunal last Thursday admitted a plea by Jet’s biggest lender the State Bank of India on repeated loan repayment defaults by the airline. Jet stopped flying on April 17, running out of funds to stay afloat and faling to raise cash. Its lenders have unsuccessfully been trying to find it a new investor.
Related: Jet Airways’ Pains are Others Gains