New Delhi: Cracks started appearing today in
a grouping of airlines that was planning to suspend flights on
August 18 to protest high jet fuel prices and taxes, with
budget carrier IndiGo saying it would operate as usual.
IndiGo`s decision to ignore the call of Federation of
Indian Airlines came hours after the government warned of
"appropriate action" against those who disrupt the schedule.
"IndiGo appreciates the sentiments expressed by the
Ministry of Civil Aviation that it understands the problems
faced by the Indian aviation industry and that we should all
engage in a dialogue with the ministry," IndiGo Airlines
President Aditya Ghosh said in a statement.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, earlier in the day,
said that the government cannot be expected to extend
financial help to loss-making private carriers but he did
offer to talk with them.
"The government reiterates its advice to private
airlines against suspending operations on August 18," he said
and warned that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation
could "take appropriate action" to protect fliers` interest.
Official sources said if the airlines do not operate
flights on a day, it would mean breaking the schedule and in
turn the rules and procedures of airline operations. Action
could be taken by the DGCA on this count, they added.
With IndiGo out, seven major private carriers under the
aegis FIA may suspend flights on August 18 to protest high
aviation turbine fuel prices and taxes on it, besides high