Airlines mull seeking relief from govt for flood rescue work

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Jammu flood
New Delhi, Sep 14: Indian carriers participating in the evacuation of stranded people in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir may formally urge the government to exempt them from paying aeronautical charges and also seek lower fuel costs for these operations, airline sources said today.

"It is our national duty and we are putting our best foot forward. We are also abiding by the DGCA directive to cap airfares from Srinagar and Leh. The government should take steps to provide some relief for carrying out these operations," said an airline official who did not wish to be named.

He said the airlines may write to the Civil Aviation Ministry soon in this regard. When contacted, Aeronautical Society of India's senior council member, Debashish Saha, said that Indian carriers have been participating fully in the evacuation and relief operations in J&K.

"They have been flying out stranded passengers for free from J&K by operating additional flights. They have also capped the airfares, including taxes, to Rs 2,800 and Rs 3,000 from Srinagar and Leh, respectively, as directed by DGCA," he said.

"It would be good for the government to provide some relief to the airlines in the form of low-priced fuel for these operations and exempt them from all aeronautical charges, like those on landing, parking and navigation, from airports in Srinagar, Leh and Jammu," Saha said.

He said such steps would help the airlines to some extent in meeting the costs of these operations which are being carried out on a war-footing. Aviation regulator DGCA has directed all carriers to cap their fares, inclusive of taxes and charges, to Rs 2,800 and Rs 3,000 for flights to Delhi from Srinagar and Leh, respectively.

PTI

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