The decision to allot vacant slot to other carriers has been taken to reduce the inconvenience of passengers and facilitate induction of additional capacity.
Allaying apprehensions of the grounded carrier Jet Airways on its vacant slots, the aviation ministry on Tuesday said they are being allocated to other airlines purely on "temporary basis" and once the airline resumes operations, these slots will be returned.
The ministry also assured Jet of "protecting" its historic slots as per the applicable norms and regulations.
The SBI-led consortium of lenders and Jet Airways employees unions had on Monday urged the government to secure its international landing slots to protect its valuation.
"To reduce inconvenience of passengers and facilitate induction of additional capacity, it has been decided to allot some of the slots vacated by Jet to other airlines purely on a temporary basis, for a period of three months," the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The abrupt temporary closure of Jet due to cash crunch last Wednesday left thousands of passengers in the lurch, forcing the ministry to allot some of the slots across domestic and international airports to other local carriers in a bid to help mitigate inconvenience.
The crisis at Jet has caused inconvenience to many air passengers and the ministry is seized of the matter, it said, adding the decision to allot vacant slot to other carriers has been taken to reduce the inconvenience of passengers and facilitate induction of additional capacity.
"The historic rights of Jet Airways, as per extent ministry guidelines for slot allocation will be protected.
“These slots will be made available to Jet as and when they revive their operations," the ministry said.
It also said a committee has been constituted by the government comprising regulator DGCA, the Airports Authority, joint venture/private sector airlines and slot coordinators to ensure that slots are allocated in most equitable and transparent manner.
This committee would be allocating slots purely on temporary basis for three months only to those airlines which bring additional capacity (aircraft), the ministry added.
Photograph: Vivek Prakash/Reuters