More countries keen to tie-up with Indian carriers: Ajit Singh

Taking cue from the Jet-Etihad deal, more countries have evinced interest in tying up with Indian carriers and the government has already started looking into some of the bilateral deals, Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said on Friday.

"Demands have come from various countries. With Oman, we have discussed. Singapore we have concluded. We have done it with Abu Dhabi. Other countries have also asked and we are looking into it,” Singh told reporters after announcing the schedule of the 'India Aviation 2014. It is a five-day exhibition and air show on the civil aviation sector to be held in March next year at Hyderabad.

On Air Asia, he said, “They (Air Asia) have just submitted the application. The Ministry is looking at it. When all the data is there, I can tell you, the Ministry is very active, proactive. If we get all the required data it should be cleared very soon.”
On whether the ministry has sought more data from Air Asia, Singh said, some details like CEO's name was not there and has sought a reply on that before giving the security clearance. “If they reply, that will save time later on, otherwise it will pull on," the minister said.

The proposed airline is a joint venture between Malaysian airlines Air Asia, the Tatas and Telstra Tradeplace of Arun Bhatia.

To another query on resumption of flight of Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the minister expressed the hope that it would resume from the middle of this month. He also said Boeing has agreed to compensate Air India for the grounding of Dreamliner planes.

The Dreamliner passenger jets were grounded across the globe in January this year on complaints of overheating of batteries. On the recent decision to allow airlines to charge extra for the baggage and other services, he said, the decision was good to the extent that it could even bring down the base fare of airlines.

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