NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India was given least preference in allocating slots vacated by Jet Airways at busiest airports of Delhi and Mumbai.
While SpiceJet got maximum 100 slots at these two airports, cash-strapped Air India got just 12.
Private airlines including SpiceJet and Indigo got a maximum chunk of the slots vacated by Jet Airways which had suspended all domestic and international flights after failing to secure emergency funds from its lenders in April this year.
Jet’s exit left various national and international slots vacant and sources said that various airlines approached the Ministry of civil aviation to get Jet Airways’ slots and gave their choices.
If sources are to be believed, Mumbai and Delhi, the two busiest airports, were the top choices opted by leading airlines in the country. According to an estimate, Delhi and Mumbai together comprise of nearly 60% of the air traffic in the country.
According to the ministry’s information, maximum 76 slots at the Mumbai airport went to SpiceJet and IndiGo was at the second position having 52 slots. Go Air, Vistara and Air Asia also received shares in slots 16, 54 and 16 respectively.
Surprisingly, debt-laden Air India did not get even a single slot at Mumbai airport.
In Delhi, IndiGo got maximum 40 slots followed by SpiceJet which received 24 slots. Go Air, Vistara and Air Asia got 16, 12, and 12 slots respectively. Air India also received 12 slots at Delhi airport.
Overall, total of 24 slots vacated by Jet Airways have been allotted to Air India at various airports.
Jet Airways was the second largest scheduled international operator in the country, after Air India, with a market share of around 14% among Indian carriers in the 2018 fiscal.