It all began two days ago on 31st July with the Private airlines in India coming out with an arm twisting measure which said that they’d suspend all domestic flights on August 18th if the Govt decided not to give them a bailout package. It’s noteworthy that many of the Private airlines owe huge fuel bills to the Govt and even payment cheques to the Govt from some of these airlines have bounced recently.
Considering the fact that over one lakh passengers use the 1200 domestic flights in India daily, the situation could have become terrible for both passengers as well as the Aviation Ministry. However, unlike many previous occasion, Govt came out talking tough and threatened action against all those airlines which decided to go on strike. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation took the time to go through the rule books and point out that “suspension of service” is not a part of the issued flying permits. Govt also quickly chalked out the contingency plans by planning to use 430-seater B747s on important routes such as Mumbai-Delhi, so that passengers are not left stranded.
Taking a cue out of Govt’s tough stance and heavy opposition by political parties, on 1st Aug, IndiGo, a Private carrier that has 14% domestic market share, decided to pull out of the strike. And today, 2nd August, all major Private Airlines have decided to call of their strike citing the same old reason of “public sentiments and potential inconvenience to thousands of traveling public”.