Bahrain Air waiting to resume India flights
Manama, April 16, 2012
Bahrain Air, a leading low-cost carrier, is still waiting for permission to resume flights to an airport at the centre of a landing rights dispute with Indian authorities.
The airline was hoping to resolve the issue over the weekend, but chief executive Richard Nuttall told our sister publication the Gulf Daily News (GDN) that it was still awaiting the green light from India's aviation chiefs.
He blamed bureaucracy for dragging out disruption, but said he hoped permission to continue the newly launched service to Kerala would be granted today.
"The delay is happening as a number of people are involved in signing documents," explained Nuttall.
"We are in touch with authorities through phones and e-mails, but we are optimistic and awaiting a positive response from the Indian Civil Aviation Affairs Authority by today," he said.
"Bahrain Air expresses its unreserved apologies to the affected passengers. Our management, staff and partners are working around the clock to minimise to the greatest extent possible the disruptions caused to our valued passengers for reasons beyond our control."
The GDN reported on Friday that a contractual dispute that grounded flights on the new Kerala service had cost the airline $500,000.
Officials are waiting for written approval from the Indian Civil Aviation Affairs Ministry to resume services to Thiruvananthapuram, three weeks after they were cancelled.
The carrier had been hoping flights would restart on Thursday.
However, at least eight flights to Thiruvananthapuram have been affected, including one that was scheduled to depart on Thursday night, another on Friday, one on Saturday and another yesterday.
The problem is due to a contract allowing the airline to fly to Thiruvananthapuram expiring on March 24.
A delegation from the airline and Bahrain's Civil Aviation Affairs earlier flew to India to resolve the issue. – TradeArabia News Service