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Airlines, travel agents seek relief as they fly into coronavirus turbulence

Globally, airlines have grounded aircraft and slashed flights as governments have suspended visas and restricted travel to stop the spread of Covid-19

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

airlines, flights
Aviation consultancy CAPA estimates most international airlines will become bankrupt by May end as travel bans squeeze their cash flows.

International operating to India have sought thirty per cent reduction in airport charges while travel agents have asked for a tax holiday and interest rate cut to support aviation and tourism sectors which are facing one of its worst crises.

Globally, have grounded aircraft and slashed flights as governments have suspended visas and restricted travel to stop the spread of Covid-19. Aviation consultancy CAPA estimates most international will become bankrupt by May end as travel bans squeeze their cash flows.

"Passenger uplift has dipped considerably which has affected cash flow of all airlines. The Director General of Civil Aviation has appealed to airlines to refund monies to airlines without deducting cancellation charges," said Ravi Bodade, chairman of Board of Airlines Representatives in a letter to civil aviation ministry.

The board represents airlines operating on international routes to/from India and wants 30 per cent reduction in aeronautical charges for six months.

"These charges if revised downwards would assist the airlines in continuing existing operations at lower seat factors," Borade said. Airlines pay airports for landing and parking of planes, use of aerobridges among others.

Meanwhile, members of various travel and tourism bodies met tourism minister Pralhad Singh Patel on Monday demanding goods and service tax holiday, moratorium on loan repayments, interest tax reduction, removal of fees for licence and permit renewals among others. The travel bodies also want governement to roll back budget proposal to collect five per cent income tax on those booking foreign trips.

" We have requested for a bailout package as the is facing a crisis. Many travel agents don't have money to pay salaries and loan instalments. The government has assured that they will review our demands," said Subhash Goyal, chairman of Stic Travel Group.

First Published: Tue, March 17 2020. 16:48 IST
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