Sinlung /
08 January 2013

New Airline Operator Dedicated to Northeast

Shillong, Jan 8 : After a certain period of halt in the air connectivity services of Meghalaya and other north eastern states from Umroi Airport due to some inefficient services of airlines operating in the region, the services will again resume with the coming of a new airline operator dedicated to the North-East which will start operating from the airport by April 1 this year.

This was informed by the North Eastern Council (NEC) Secretary U K Sangma at a pre bid consultation meeting which was held at NEC office between the various airline operators and members of the North Eastern Council on Friday.

The meeting which was attended by five operators namely-Quick Jet from Bangalore, North East Shuttle, Pawan Hans to name a few was an initiative of the NEC to improve air connectivity of the north east region.

Elaborating further on this Sangma said, “The response to the bidding is encouraging, we have Quick Jet from Bangalore, North East Shuttle, Pawan Hans to name a few.”

“All the air line bidders are interested but are requesting some changes which we are looking into,” he added.

Informing about the pre bid consultation meeting held today between the operators and members of the NEC, Sangma said, “Two scheduled and three non scheduled air line operators attended the pre bid consultative meeting which was fruitful.”

“Confusion and clarification regarding the terms and condition was dealt with in the meeting,” he added.

While taking a strong note on the past inefficient services of airlines operating in the region, Sangma said, “ Proper penalty clauses are put into place which amounts upto Rs,50,000 fine if improper service is delivered” adding that the subsidized rate for the aircraft will be for a period of three years only and in connection to the safety regulations the DDCA will look after it.

When enquired about the Alliance Air allegation of non-payment of dues by NEC, Sangma said , “ “Alliance Air service was inefficient and their memorandum of understanding had expired since December 31,” further adding, “ We had send them letters to stop operations but it was unheeded to and they continued their operations.”

It may be recalled that Alliance Air was operating from Umroi airport for the past few years but their services were discontinued and the reason for it as cited by NEC are-non-adherence to MOU conditions, unsatisfactory service, poor public perception, disincentive to private players, no impact on passenger fares, unsatisfied viability gap funding.

Meanwhile, dwelling on the financial aid requirement of the north east in enhancing the air connectivity, Sangma felt that the 15,000 crore earmarked by the centre to Air India for the next five year plan could have been very well used to  better air connectivity in the region considering the need for it.

“The question of non-payment of dues does not arise,” Sangma said adding, “ My guess is they thought lobbying in Delhi would help them for which they lobbied hard.”

The meeting which was attended by five operators namely-Quick Jet from Bangalore, North East Shuttle, Pawan Hans to name a few was an initiative of the NEC to improve air connectivity of the north east region.(SP News)

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