Panaji: In a bid to boost charter flights to Goa, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has urged Airports Authority of India (AAI) to waive off penalty in case of delayed arrivals and refund the deposit.
AAI is charging a slot fee/penalty of Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 from charter operators for delays caused by weather and operating conditions in its place of origin. TTAG feels that this deposit for slot charging fee/penalty needs to be withdrawn.
“We have no issue in keeping a slot deposit to safeguard against the possibility of operators blocking slots and not utilising them. However, in other countries there is no such rule. On the contrary, charter operators are given subsidy/incentives as they bring huge groups of tourists whereas we don’t offer any schemes. At least charter airlines should not be imposed a fine for any delay in arrival,” TTAG President Savio Messias told after the association’s meeting with AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mahapatra at Benaulim on Friday.
TTAG also urged AAI that slots be finalised and allocated before the commencement of the charter season. “Historically we used to operate from 8.30 am to 1pm, but last season, this facility was withdrawn by AAI and we faced difficulties. We request that the 8.30-1pm slot be reinstated for smooth operation of charter flights and domestic slots should start from 1pm. This would go a long way to avoid mixing up of passengers,” the association president said.
The tourism stakeholder also suggested that AAI and Indian Navy give sufficient notice to airline operators about plans to carry out major works related to the runaway, apron or airport building.