Tag: Ashok Gajapati Raju civil aviation minister

Gajapati Raju Assures Activation Of 10-15 Airports Next Year

{Kumbakonam,TN} Gajapati Raju Assures Activation Of 10-15 Airports Next Year
Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju said.10-15 airports would be activated by the next year,
Raju Told Reporters ,There are 31 or 32 unconnected airports and we are planning to activate some of them and 10 or 15 airports may be activated by next year,”
Raju, who arrived here enroute to nearby Marugur to visit the ‘samadhi’ of a freedom fighter, said the country was recording the fastest growth in the civil aviation sector in the world.
On cargo operations, he said there was good potential but the problem was several rates of taxes on fuel in different states.
“The major operational cost 45 per cent is fuel and tax problem is there. I have written addressing this to Chief Ministers of all the states,”
He said ,there was no corruption and scams in this regime.

Raju,Who Failed To Control Airfares Says Airlines are not Demons

[New Delhi]Raju,Who Failed To Control Airfares Says Airlines are not Demons
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gjapati Raju Who Failed To Control Airfares Says Airlines are not Demons
Airlines might not be “angels, but definitely they are not demons”, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today said amid concerns over arbitrary hike in air fares.
Making it clear that there will not be a “simplistic solution” to deal with exorbitant rise in air fares, he reiterated that capping would not be the answer as that would also push up the floor prices.
Against the backdrop of persisting concerns that airlines have been charging higher fares, especially during emergencies, Raju asserted that airlines have been responsive during crises.
To buttress his point against capping, the minister cited an analysis done last year which showed that only around 1.7 per cent of the tickets sold were in the higher fare bucket.
“Caps and floors are very interesting… but we should not land in a situation that pushes up the price of over 90 per cent of passengers to benefit around 1.7 per cent of the passengers,” Raju said in response to a query on whether the government would look at capping air fares.
Stressing that the overall objective is to ensure reasonable pricing of air tickets, the minister said airlines have been responsible in keeping fares reasonable during Chennai and Srinagar floods.
“They (airlines) might not be angels, but they definitely are not demons… We need to work with them and find a solution (for higher air fares).
These are problems which do not lend itself to a simplistic solution,” Raju said.
Earlier this month, he had ruled out the possibility of capping air fares against the backdrop of passenger complaints of arbitrary tariff hikes, saying competition among the airlines will take care of the problem.
Concerns have been expressed in various quarters over steep fluctuation in air fares, especially during natural calamities and other emergencies. There have been instances of air ticket prices shooting up during the recent Jat agitation.
Besides, airlines had come in for criticism over steep hike in ticket cancellation charges and higher levy for various unbundled services.Ministry Also Under Attack For Not Discarding Condition Of 20 planes for International Flights

At Last ,Center Accepts 5/20 Rule ‘Anarchic’ And Decides to Change

[New Delhi] At Last Center Accepts 5/20 Rule ‘Anarchic Now Decides to Change.It May Clear The Way For New Airlines To Fly Abroad .Present rule entails that an airline can fly to international destinations only if it has served within the country for five years and has a 20-aircraft fleet.
Terming the 5/20 rule which allows Indian carriers to fly abroad as “anarchic”, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today said he was trying to change it so that new airlines can connect with foreign destinations.
Raju said in Lok Sabha the government wants more Indian airlines to fly to foreign destinations but as long as the 5/20 rule is not changed, they cannot fly abroad.
Hitting At Previous Govt Raju Said It is a fact that 5/20 rule came from a particular Cabinet at a particular point of time. To my mind, it is an anarchic type of thing. It prevents the Indian registered airlines to function.
But as long as that rule is there, we have to follow it.”I am trying to change the rule and if I have my way, it will happen,” he said during Question Hour.
Raju’s reply came when Congress member Shashi Tharoor said the Kerala government had tried to set up a state airline called ‘Air Kerala’ to cater to the vast amount of traffic of Keralites going to Gulf countries since private carriers were exploitative, but could not do so due to the 5/20 rule.
“It is our duty to see that people are not exploited. In fact, airfares before 1994 were controlled by the Government.
The Minister said,.Airlines before that had to apply and take government approval. In 1994, the Act was repealed by Parliament,”
BJP member R K Singh too joined Tharoor saying private airlines often exploit passengers taking emergency situation which government must check.
“Whenever there is an emergency situation, the airlines hike the fare and exploit people. This is nothing but exploitation and if the government keeps watching this happening then what is the use of having a government,”
The Minister said government has analysed the entire issue and found that the high side of the fares in the total ticketing is about less than two per cent.
“So, we realise that the prices of tickets have come down in most routes, particularly where the competition is more.
He said capacities and growth in the country have been going up. If the growth is stifled, the problem will not be resolved.
Minister Said “With regard to emergencies like Chennai floods, Srinagar floods or the Jat agitation and all that, we do see these things coming up and we give advisories to the airlines and some of the airlines do respond,”

Govt Can Facilitate But Can’t Force Carriers To Fly To Unconnected Cities

[New Delhi]Govt Can’t Push Pvt ALs & Unwilling To Force Its Carrier For Unconnected Cities
Government today said that Its Carrier is coming out from losses so, will not “force” Air India to fly to unconnected cities
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said Air India is coming out of losses because of the government’s “non-interference” policy and maintained that its job was to “facilitate and not compel” airline operations.
Raju made the remarks during Question Hour after a number of members raised the issue of lack of air connectivity to the regions they came from and Rajiv Satav (Cong) urged him to ask Air India to connect places like Nanded, a pilgrimage centre of the Sikhs.
Raju, however, said the government from time to time gave suggestions to airlines and noted that in the draft civil aviation policy there is a proposal to connect unserved and unconnected airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme.
“The details of the scheme including the action plan are being finalised… An indicative cost of Rs 50-100 crore has been envisaged in the budget speech for 2016-1017,”
He said in a written reply.”The commencement of activity in these unconnected, unserved airports and airstrips depends on the willingness of the airlines and of the state governments to agree to the conditions of the scheme,”

Flight Services at Flood Hit Chennai Airport will Remain Suspended till 3rd December

[Chennai]Flight Services at Flood Hit Chennai Airport will Remain Suspended till 3rd December
Flight services in and out of Chennai Airport will remain suspended till tomorrow morning due to the heavy rains and water logging on the runway.The airports Authority of India has issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) to all air operators in this regard,
Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) is a notice containing information concerning the establishment, condition, or change in any facility, service or procedure, among others, in airspace management.
All airlines have cancelled their operations from Chennai airport.
Spicejet has cancelled all its flights till tomorrow, while
Jet Airways has cancelled all its flights to and from Chennai for today.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju said everything has been paralysed at the airport.

Central Aviation Minister Slashed Kejriwal’s Delhi Govt For Taxing ATF

[New Delhi]Central Aviation Minister Slashed Kejriwal’s Delhi Govt For Taxing ATF Delhi Govt Justifies By Saying This Hike Is a Part Of Their Budget

Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said such a move would be like “taxing an economic activity to death”.
ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) expenses make up a substantial part of the overall operational costs incurred by airlines.
To bring down the costs, the Centre had earlier written to state governments asking them to reduce the value-added tax on ATF.
Some state governments responded positively, while some did not, the Delhi government decided to enhance taxes on ATF, the
“Taxes are a reality, but taxing an economic activity to death, probably India shows the way in that
Minister Added ,We need to come out of that scenario and go forward”,
Delhi government Justifying hiking tax on jet fuel, said the decision was part of this year’s Budget.
Even after hiking the VAT on ATF to 25 per cent from 20 per cent, the rate is still among the lowest,
On whether the Centre was looking to evolve a consensus among states with respect to taxation on ATF, the Minister replied in the negative.
“I am not trying to develop a consensus. You see a consensus would not be possible. Luckily for us, a large number of chief ministers agreed to my suggestion. There is one chief minister who has gone against it and said what the hell… I will increase. It is okay, it doesn’t matter”, Raju said.
He was speaking at an air cargo summit organised by industry body PHD Chamber
About making taxation side of civil aviation sector a little more flexible, Raju said efforts would be made in this regard even as he added that usually the taxmen in the Finance Ministry are not pro-active and liberal.
“If you look at the political manifestos of all parties, regional and national, aviation will probably find a sentence in the BJP manifesto that too on regional connectivity.
“Somehow, aviation seems to have slipped from the political map. We need to bring it back”, Raju noted.
To a query on whether his Ministry has reviewed aviation security in the wake of a recent bombing of a Russian aircraft, Raju said, “Indian skies as far as security is concerned are fairly safe”.
On whether the Ministry has given preliminary approval for setting up an airport in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, Raju did not offer any specific comment and only said, “we are not against (new) airports”