New Delhi: Inaugurating the Aviation Conclave 2019 with a theme that placed the spotlight on “Flying for All” on Wednesday, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu released a Passenger charter that democratizes flying for air passengers. “The charter will help the airlines understand what their responsibilities are and passengers to know what their rights are,” said Prabhu.
What does the charter say?
The charter states that if a domestic flight is expected to be delayed by more than six hours, then the airline will offer an option of an “alternate flight” to the passenger within that time, or it will refund the full price of the ticket. It also stipulates that if a passenger is informed of flight cancellations less than two weeks before departure, the airline must offer an alternate flight to passenger or refund the ticket completely. The document directs the airline to “indicate” clearly the amount of refund money that will be given to the passenger in case of cancellation.
“This conclave is about the future of Indian aviation — it is bringing together industry leaders, government and regulators for setting the tone and propelling us to realise our Vision-2040.”
However, if a passenger is denied boarding due to overbooking of a flight, the passenger would not be liable to hold airline for compensation if he or she is given an alternate flight within one hour of original flight’s departure.
‘The conclave is about the future of aviation industry’
Prabhu said that realising the government’s vision of making “Flying for All” a reality underpins the government’s commitment to bring about a veritable revolution in the Indian aviation sector. “This conclave is about the future of Indian aviation — it is bringing together industry leaders, government and regulators for setting the tone and propelling us to realise our Vision-2040,” he said.
“We need industry to take risks, invest to scale up the sector.”
While noting that the aviation sector has the potential to add to the growth of India’s economy, Prabhu said a growing aviation sector can carry along many other sectors to spur up the GDP. He said that to achieve growth in the sector, there must be clarity in policy dynamics, sync between the ‘Macro’ and the ‘Micro” and explained that it will mean clear long-term strategy with immediate actionable plans.
‘Industry should take risk’
Speaking about the PPP model that the government is pursuing with respect to the operation of six airports, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State of Civil Aviation, said, “We need industry to take risks, invest to scale up the sector.” He called for policy innovation to sustain the growth and said drone ecosystem can make India a global leader in the field. He also urged the aviation industry to look at sector not just from an economic perspective, but also from a strategic point of view. Asking the various stakeholders within the industry to step up, the minister said that it is important to invest in skill development and training of human capital within the country.