MDLR pulls out; pvt airlines' strike call losing steam?
New Delhi: With the government cracking the whip, private airlines' strike call on August 18 appeared to be losing steam on Sunday with budget carrier Spicejet saying it was reconsidering its position while MDLR Airlines announced it would operate that day.
Spicejet sources said it was taking bookings for August 18, the day when the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) has given a call for suspending flight operations to protest high taxes on jet fuel and airport charges.
Regional player MDLR Airlines, which operates three aircraft to six destinations, has already written to FIA secretary general Anil Baijal that it would not join the stir.
Another budget carrier Indigo announced yesterday it was pulling out of the strike leaving only major players Jet Airways and Kingfisher to be in the strike mode on August18.
State-owned Air India, which is a FIA member but has decided not to be part of the protest, meanwhile, said it was gearing up to operate additional flights on August 18 to avoid possible inconvenience to passengers. State-owned DGCA has warned of appropriate action to protect passengers' interest.
Full business class Paramount Airways has already announced they were walking out of the strike. Barring MDLR, all others are members of the FIA.
Spicejet CEO Sanjay Aggarwal said he was optimistic that the talks with the government would lead to a resolution of the problems. However, there was no official word whether Spicejet would take the course of Indigo Airlines by withdrawing from the strike call.
MDLR Airlines COO and ED Koustav M Dhar told FIA in the letter that his airline would operate all flights on August 18, saying the strike was no solution to the intending problems of the Civil Aviation sector.