Speaking about the government’s role in Jet Airways grounding, Hardeep S Puri said that the government cannot be blamed for it as every private player should draw up their own business plan.
Indian aviation sector may not be in the best of times but it is not in its worst either, Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told ET Now in an interview. “When you use words like turbulence for Indian aviation sector, that’s okay. Crash landing? I don’t buy it,” Aviation Minister Hardeep S Puri said, adding that since the grounding of Jet Airways, more aircraft have been added to Indian skies and the ministry looks to get the number over 600 soon from the current size of 580. “As far as domestic is concerned, we have overcome the pocket of turbulence,” he said.
Jet Airways loss aside, the aviation sector in India has recorded a massive double-digit annual growth rate of over 17%, Hardeep S Puri said, asserting that the failure of one airline does not mean the whole sector is in trouble.
Speaking about the government’s role in Jet Airways grounding, Hardeep S Puri said that the government cannot be blamed for it as every private player should draw up their own business plan. It is not in the government’s capacity to call out people on their series of bad decisions, he said, a government’ role is just to enable an ecosystem by creating airport services etc. Further, Jet Airways was making a mistake as there could have been a resolution between December and February. “The two parties could have sorted out this between them, instead, they fell out,” Hardeep S Puri said.
The domestic aviation was severely hit with Jet Airways’ temporary suspension of operations and the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX dreamliner after Ethiopia tragedy. The dual brunt led to an extreme flight crunch in India resulting in higher airfares for air travellers. The onus then fell onto the government to alleviate the flight shortage and the aviation watchdog DGCA had to ask other players to ramp up their operations and introduce more flights. Domestic carriers like IndiGo, SpiceJet, Vistara etc happily obliged as the void created by Jet Airways meant chunkier market share for them.