Amritsar Vikas Manch has demanded to withdraw the proposal to shut down Amritsar-Delhi- Toronto flight. In a memorandum to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh Congress President Mrs.Sonia Gandhi,civil avaiation minister Sh.Ajit Singh and Chief Minister S. Parkash Singh Badal, the pattern of Amritsar Vikas Manch Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala stated that according to news appeared in section of the press(Times of India dated 14 May2012,) cival aviation minister Mr Ajit Singh has stated that 80% to 90% of AI’s total losses come from international flights. So AI is downsizing its international operations and discontinuing many of the loss-making routes Some of the biggest loss-making routes (like Amritsar-Delhi-Toronto) are being shut down. It is surprising to note that this news specially mentions Amritsar-Delhi_ Toronto flight as biggest loss-making route and likely to be withdrawn. But the same news says that study done by AI late last year had shown that only two out of its 175 weekly international flights were making some money. It means all international flights are not being run efficiently for which management is responsible. So far this flight is concerned, previously it was run as Amritsar-London-Toronto flight and it remained booked for at least two months .How is it occurring big loss ? it is surprising .If this route is biggest loss- making route then which one is running profitably ? . The withdrawal of AMRITSAR-Delhi-TORONTO flight will affect the large number of Punjabis living there who will miss the only direct link to the city of the Golden Temple now. Air India has always adopted anti-Amritsar policy.Previously it withdrew Amritsar-Birmingham – Toronto flight and changed its route to Amritsar-London-Toronto and then to Amritsar-Delhi-Toronto .So it disconnected Amritsar from London where large number of Punjabis live Now the question, arises will Air India shut all 173 loss- making routes out of 175? Secondally,why Air India has chosen this flight ignoring other 173 loss making routes? Why Air India ordered 111 aircrafts for Rs 32000 crores taking loan and paying Rs.6000 crore as interest annually if Air India to shut down such lucrative Asr.-Del. -Toront flight? What will do Air India of the Boeing 787 Dream liners going to get in this month and present fleet?
History shows that both AI and IA were making cash profits till fiscal 2006-07 but have seen losses soaring thereafter,why? Air India (AI) was made to withdraw services from “lucrative and profit earning routes” in the name of “route rationalisation” while being forced to operate flights on loss making routes, said a Parliament Standing Committee report, which details how private airlines gained at the cost of the flag shi GA_googleFillSlot("ht_story_top_lhs_200x200"); p carrier.
“Private players were favoured in the route dispersal guidelines,” the committee, chaired by Sitaram Yechury and consisting of 31 members of Parliament, noted last year.
“Indian Airlines was denied a level-playing field. Private operators were permitted to operate on routes of their choice. IA was forced to keep a network operational, which involved more than 70% routes that were loss making,” it said.
“In the Mumbai-Dubai sector, AI services were reduced from three to two flights daily but their competitor was able to operate four services daily. If the decision was based purely on commercial prudence, then how come the competitor could operate four services daily?” it questioned.
“Services from lucrative Mumbai-Doha sector, which got 90% occupancy were withdrawn abruptly and the vacuum was filled by a private operator,” the report said.
“The committee apprehends that there appears to be a nexus operating for surrendering lucrative routes to favour the private operators. An inquiry be constituted to analyse the withdrawal of lucrative routes to favour the private players. The inquiries are necessitated by the fact that immediately on withdrawal of services by AI the private operators introduced their flights in the same sector,” it noted
This news appeared one year ago. Civil aviation ministry has not taken any step .,Air-India has been losing market share consistently over the past six to seven months to private carriers like Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines.
According to figures released by the government 3 weeks ago, Jet Airways and its low-cost carrier JetLite have carved out a domestic market share of 26.7 per cent, while Kingfisher Airlines commands 24.7 per cent.
In contrast, Air-India – once the leader – has a market share of only 18 per cent and is reduced to competing with low-cost carriers like IndiGo Airlines, which has a market share of 14.7 per cent.
But more alarmingly, Air-India managed only 57.5 per cent load on its domestic flights in November, while IndiGo boasted of a 73 per cent passenger load.
IndiGo Airlines has a fleet size of only 19 aircraft, while Air-India operates 76 aircraft on domestic routes, apart from a fleet of 41 aircraft for international operations.
On the other hand, the two private carriers Jet Airways including Jetlite operates 111 aircraft, while Kingfisher, including its low cost carrier Deccan Aviation, flies 86 aircraft.
So it is Air India management is responsible for the loss.According to Manch leader , " It is better to implement the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, comprising 31 parliamentarians, chaired by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) leader Sitaram Yechury which has recommended setting up a commission to study how private airlines operate, to help the government-run Air-India recoup its losses." There has been demand by CBI for Air India loss many times.Dr Gumtala has appealed to reconsider the scheme to shut down Amritsar- Delhi-Toronto flight and instead of take steps to make Air India flights profitable.
Copy of the letter has been sent to .S. Parkash Singh Badal,Chief Minister,Punjab, Mrs Parneet Kaur, Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr Manohar Singh Gill, Former Uninon Minister of Sports and youth welfare,S Tarlochan Singh M P,S Navjot Singh Sidhu, M.P., . Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, MP,. Deputy Commissioner Amritsarfor information and necessary action .