SRINAGAR: To avoid inconvenience to Haj pilgrims, state-run airlines Air India has been asked not to outsource their operations to any other airlines to ferry Haj pilgrims, Minister of State (IC) for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Tuesday said.
“There were some disruptions in the operations by sub-contractors. It was prescribed that the airlines will not be allowed to outsource their operation to any third party for onward Haj operations,” Naqvi said during a Rajya Sabha session.
The minister informed Air India is operating Haj flights with its own fleet since 2015.
The responsibilities for making air travel arrangements for Haj Pilgrims selected by the Haj Committee of India is with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).
The Annual Bilateral Agreement between India and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) provides that as per the instructions issued by General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the Saudi air transport companies will share equally without any exception the transportation of Hajis with the national carrier of each country, Naqvi said.
“As per the conditions laid down by GACA, no contracts are allowed to be made with any third party for transportation of Hajis,” he declared.
Air India sub-contracted the agreement by utilizing Dynamic Airways for undertaking Haj 2014 operations after the capacity available with Air India on its own fleet was not capable of carrying over 50,000 pilgrims from 14 embarkation points.