Aviation Sector Current Affairs - 2019
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Union Government has announced Draft Aviation Policy 2015 aimed at popularizing air travel among the people in the country.
It was released by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi. The policy is open to comments from the industry and various stakeholders before being finalised.
Key highlights of Draft Aviation Policy-2015
- Improve air connectivity among the smaller cities and aims to bring India to third position from the current 10th position in the global aviation sector.
- Special Funds: About 300 airports and air strips in smaller cities to be operationalized and government will provide money for it by setting up a special fund.
- Under Regional Connectivity Scheme, under-served airstrips and build no-frills airports will be revived at a cost of 50 crore rupees.
- Taxation measures: Tax incentives will be given to airlines to boost the aviation sector especially in custom and not on aviation fuel. Proposed a slew of tax incentives for airlines and maintenance works.
- Service tax will be put at zero to promote Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in order to develop India as an MRO hub in Asia.
- FDI: Proposed hiking Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in domestic airlines to over 50 per cent in open skies policy, which is 49 per cent at present.
- Open skies policy: Under it overseas airlines can operate unlimited number of flights into and out of India.
- Ticketing: Airlines will not be allowed to charge more than 2500 rupees for one hour flight between two small cities under regional connectivity scheme.
- Proposes 2 per cent levy on all domestic and overseas tickets for funding the Scheme.
- Helicopters: Proposes separate regulations for helicopters from April, 2016. Union Government will support growth of helicopters for intra-city movement, tourism, remote area connectivity, disaster relief, law enforcement and medical evacuation.
- Other proposed reforms: Envisages greater de regulation, transparency and e governance, skill building and aviation education and promotion of sustainable aviation practices.
Tata Sons has decided to increase its stake in low-cost carrier AirAsia India from 30 per cent to 41 per cent by infusing fresh capital.
AirAsia India is a joint venture between Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia Berhad, Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace.
As per the original agreement these three partners holds 49%, 30%, 21% stakes in Air Asia India and had committed to invest 30 million US dollar in the airline.
Tata Sons will acquire the additional stake from Arun Bhatia’s Telestra Tradeplace which was subscribe to 21 per cent equity in the airline but it hasn’t done so.
With this change in ownership structure the top deck of the company has also changed, now the AirAsia India’s chief executive officer (CEO) Mittu Chandilya would also be its managing director.
Apart from Air Asia Tata Sons also holds 51 per cent stake in full-service airline Vistara a Joint venture with Singapore Airlines.
About Air Asia:
AirAsia India is an Indo-Malaysian low cost carrier headquartered in Chennai. It is a three-way joint venture with AirAsia Berhad, Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace. It was operational 12 June 2014 with Bangalore as its primary hub.
Note: AirAsia is the first foreign airline to set up a subsidiary in India with Tata Sons who re-entered in aviation business after a long gap of 60 years. It had started Tata Airlines in the 1930s that later became Air India and was subsequently nationalized.