The government is working on creating a national ‘no-fly list’ which will apply to all citizens, irrespective of their “position” in society, Union minister Jayant Sinha said today. Replying to a question on recent incidents of indecent behaviour of a few elected representatives with airline staff, the MoS for Civil Aviation said, “Safety is of paramount concern to us and the ministry is working on a national no-fly list”. “Nowhere else in the world has this type of a no-fly list been created. This will apply to all citizens of India, no matter what their role or position is, as safety applies to everyone,” he said.
The minister said the decision to not serve non-vegetarian food to passengers flying economy class with Air India on domestic routes was taken to “cut down costs and wastage.” The ministry has to honestly look into how it can make Air India operate in an efficient manner, he told reporters here. An airline spokesperson had said the decision was taken last week.
Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani had also maintained that the decision was taken to rationalise costs. To a question on bilateral connectivity with other countries, Sinha said, “We will sort out the issues on bilateral connectivity and see which countries we can connect within the bilateral agreements. There have to be modifications within these agreements. We will look into it.”
About international connectivity to Coimbatore, the Union minister said the request in this regard had come from various industry associations. The government will see how Coimbatore can be connected to more international routes considering it is an industrial city, he said. “We are hopeful that as our airlines add more planes and pilots to the fleet, Coimbatore will be on top of the list,” Sinha said. On the issue of WiFI connectivity, he said this was being examined.
“There are certain security considerations that have to be fully dealt with before we can allow it in the air. It is also a matter for the Ministry of Home Affairs to sort out and they are looking into it,” he said. Sinha is on a visit to Coimbatore and Tirupur to elaborate on GST to the industries and trade.