Bahrain Air’s flight row likely to end soon
Manama, April 10, 2012
Bahrain Air flights to India could resume by Thursday after five trips were cancelled due to a dispute over contract renewal, said a top official.
The flights between Bahrain and Trivandrum from April 4 to 8 were called off because the airline could not get written approvals from the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation after its contract expired on March 24.
The carrier hopes to resolve the dispute before the end of the week to resume services on its newly-launched route.
"We are still waiting for a confirmation from the Indian authorities," said airline chief executive officer Richard Nuttall. "Every indication shows we should get the much-awaited permission letter soon, but we are not sure why it's being delayed. We keep receiving calls from them asking if we have received the letter, but we regret to inform our valued customers that we haven't got it yet.”
"Indian Ambassador Dr Mohan Kumar is involved in this case. Our team is regularly chasing it and hoping for a positive response."
The next flight from Bahrain on Wednesday and from Trivandrum on Thursday has been cancelled.
"We may be able to take a decision on Thursday or within 48 hours," said Nuttall.
"The Indian authorities are still not really quiet clear, but it has to come from them. So we don't have any option but to wait for a letter. We are now in the process of informing all the passengers about the next flight, which is on Wednesday from Bahrain."
Around 140 passengers in transit from Saudi Arabia were stranded in Bahrain for four days from March 30 after the dispute forced the airline to ground flights.
The airline has started accepting claims from customers seeking refunds after it was forced to cancel flights to and from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
A delegation from the airline and Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA) earlier flew to India in a bid to resolve the issue. – TradeArabia News Service