IATA, the apex body for world civil aviation, has come up with an ‘India Inc.’ approach for ridding the Indian aviation sector of its multiple problems. It has come down heavily on the current policies of the government and highlighted the main areas of concern which need to be addressed. It has also pointed out how these problem areas are continuing to affect the growth and development of the country by hindering the works of other ministries since the potential for having cheap air tickets would not be utilized.
IATA has pointed out the following areas of concern which require immediate action:
1.Airport charges: The increase of 346 percent in Delhi airport charges, approved by AERB, has been cited as an example to bring the focus to the increasing expensiveness of the Indian airports. This increase will make the airlines skip or reroute their flights and might even cancel their future plans for India. IATA has also mentioned that since about 46 percent of revenue generated by DIAL goes to Airports Authority of India for subsidizing other public sector airports of the country, it is in contravention of international standards and makes Delhi uncompetitive. Air ticket booking for flights to or from Delhi will become prohibitively costly.
2.Taxation: The issue of taxation has also come up in the IATA observations. The imposition of service tax on cheap flight tickets, navigation and landing of airplanes, the excise duty on fuel and domestic charges on fuel have been noted as key operating cost elements for airlines which are way above the global average.
3.Capacity creation: In order to meet the increasing demand for aviation, it is important to develop the capacity of air travel by having infrastructure ready in time to meet the demands of present and future. The pending projects need to be expedited and the new ones need to be taken on priority basis for realizing the full potential of aviation in India.