Aviation

MoCA to discuss MPs’ perks with Indian airlines

DELHI: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has asked all Indian airlines to attend a meeting on Monday to discuss perks for MPs such as quota of seats on flights, air travel facilities and assistance at airports to board and deboard a plane.

Airlines now only provide assistance to MPs to board and deboard a plane as courtesy, said an airline executive, reports The Economic Times.

“The ministry is essentially demanding VIP privileges,” he said, asking not to be named. Aviation secretary RN Choubey did not comment for this article.

On Thursday, the ministry sent an email to senior executives of airlines, including Indi-Go president Aditya Ghosh, SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh and Air India boss Aswani Lohani, to discuss “issues” related to the air travel of MPs.

They were asked to depute a representative “of appropriate level” to attend the meeting of the Joint Committee on Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament (Lok Sabha). The meeting will be held on September 26 at 3.54 pm at the Parliament House Annexe in New Delhi, according to the email.

ET has reviewed a copy of the email, signed by Kaushik Mukhopadhyay, an assistant director at aviation regulator DGCA.

In April, the government told Lok Sabha that there was no move to scrap privileges extended to MPs and other VIPs at airports. MPs will continue to enjoy facilities like being served tea, coffee and water for free at airports, have free access to the terminal building and have reserved lounge facilities at international and domestic terminals, aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said in a written reply at the Lok Sabha. Raju later said these were not privileges, but courtesies.

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