Vistara Airlines recently paid a record-breaking fine of ₹70 lakhs to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The fine was imposed for not meeting the requirement of operating a minimum number of flights to the underserved areas in the Northeast region of the country. The fine was imposed in the month of October last year as the airline failed to meet the requirement in April 2022. This fine was paid off during this month by the airline.
Vistara Airline Pays ₹70 Lakh Rupees As Fine
There is a minimum number of flights that an airline is supposed to fly to the underserved regions of India in order to maintain connectivity. There are certain areas in the northeast that are underserved when it comes to flight routes. Vistara airlines failed to meet the minimum requirement of flights.
Vistara officials have declared that the fine was paid but under protest. Their argument for not being able to meet the minimum requirement was that since the Bagdogra Airport closed, they have been unable to fly on that route. However, the civil aviation authorities did not find their defence convincing and a fine was levied on the airlines for failing to meet the bare minimum requirement.
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Fine Imposed For Failing To Meet The Minimum Requirement
In April 2022, it was found that Vistara airlines’ available seat kilometres (ASKM) were 0.99 per cent. This is less than the minimum requirement of 1 per cent on the routes in the northeast. According to the officials of Vistara airlines, they have been deploying more than enough flights. However, a number of flights had to be cancelled due to the closure of Bagdogra airport.
This defence was not found substantial by the DCGA and the fine was imposed. Government officials also highlighted that Vistara airlines defaulted on the requirements even in 2017 and 2018, however, no fine was imposed then since there was no provision in place for it back then.
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Which underserved region do you think should have more flights? Tell us in the comments below,
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