New Delhi: Government on Saturday asked private airlines to withdraw their call for suspending flights on 18 August and warned them of “appropriate action” if flight schedules are disrupted.
“The government reiterates its advice to private airlines against suspending operations on August 18,” civil aviation minister Praful Patel said in a statement while maintaining that the government cannot be expected to extend financial help to loss-making private carriers.
Patel, who has renewed his appeal to the private carriers for negotiations, also said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) could “take appropriate action” under its regulatory powers to protect passengers’ interest.
Official sources said if the airlines do not operate flights on a day, it would mean breaking the schedule, which would go against the laid-down rules and procedures of airline operations. Action could be taken by the DGCA on this count, they added.
Eight major private carriers, under the aegis of their industry body Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), had on Friday announced their decision not to fly on 18 August, protesting the growing aviation turbine fuel prices (ATF) and taxes on it, besides high airport charges.