New Delhi, The government is not planning to do a financial audit of Jet Airways but is watchful of the developments in the airline, Civil Aviation Secretary, Mr R.N. Choubey said on Friday.
“Jet Airways has not approached us as yet, they are not bound to inform us but then when airlines get into difficulty they normally come to us. There are a couple of things which we are doing and the The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will also be looking at,” said Mr Choube.
“We are not planning to do any financial audit from government side, we will just be watching the developments in Jet,” he added.
The secretary was speaking at a Conference on Civil Aviation and Cargo, organised by industry chamber ASSOCHAM.
Jet Airways has reported undergoing heavy financial stress and even deferred announcing its June quarter numbers to an unspecified date on Thursday.
Mr Choubey informed that Ministry of Civil Aviation along with International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) that it would celebrate 50 months of continuous, uninterrupted, highest double digit growth in the world in September. “It is not easy to have achieved that kind of connectivity to connect small towns and cities which has been done.”
He also said that Ministry was aware of the challenges being faced by the sector and there was need to reduce costs both at the airports and as far as Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was concerned. “Our our ministry is working on creating airport infrastructure, an overall ecosystem where the growth rate is sustained, where we make sure that we prove to be the locomotive as far as global civil aviation is concerned.”
He said while one of the biggest challenge being faced by the Mechanochemical Endovenous Ablation (MOCA) was that of airport infrastructure and to make sure that adequate number of skilled people are available for taking this growth forward.
“In the next five years, sector as a whole we would be investing Rs 1.5 lakh crore in airports, we would investing Rs three lakh crore in airline side and we are committed to make sure that this investment happens very speedily,” said the aviation secretary.
Mr Choubey further said, “While the passenger load factors are very healthy, yields are softening up, that of course only means that those players whose cost structures are efficient are going to keep growing but at the same time our ministry is conscious of the issues.”
Earlier in his address at the ASSOCHAM conference, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha said that considering a strong underlined demand, India’s civil aviation sector will continue to grow 12-14 per cent a year and thus the government was now planning for a billion trips.
“If we are 200-250 million trips this year, we really have to think ahead and think of a billion trips and that is what we are thinking and that is what we are working towards,” said the minister.
He further said there was a need to unlock and make sure that all markets be it international, national, regional, remote, helicopter services, cargo and logistics, ground handling, drone industry and others work very well.
“The demand for aviation services in India is very strong, the challenge for us from policy point of view has been to understand that each of these markets are differentiated,” said Mr Sinha.
He added that differentiated policies and approaches were required and then government would work together with the industry to unlock these markets and enable them to flourish.
The Minister blamed the policy paralysis during the previous government regime for there was virtually no growth between 2012-13 and the beginning of 2014. “There was no capacity at all and part of that was because of Kingfisher going out of the system, so we had 2-3 years virtually of no growth.”
He also asked the industry to keep finding faults with Civil Aviation Ministry to improve it further and serve in a better way. “You have given us your direct and straight feedback and told us what is working and what is not that we have been able to address these issues, so please keep bringing us our defects, keep telling us what is wrong with us.”
Addressing the ASSOCHAM conference, Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet urged the government to bring down costs for aviation industry for it to take off.
“Bringing down costs would help Indian airlines match up with their global counterparts.”
He also said that it was an opportune time for India to garner major share of global aviation business in wake of US-China trade dispute.