Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways have bribed Indian Government offical to snatch Air India’s profit making routes. Indian Enforcement Directorate said in a money laundering cases of Previous Government, in the Delhi Court on Thursday.
The Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that “corporate lobbyist” Deepak Talwar received “exorbitant amounts” from Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways to make the national carrier give up profit making routes and profit making timings of Air India in favour of foreign private airlines. This, as per the agency, resulted in huge loss of market share to Air India and pecuniary benefits to private domestic and foreign airlines.
Agency told the court that Emirates deposited USD 45 million, and Qatar and Air Arabia deposited USD15 million to Talwar’s “Bank of Singapore” account during the period between April 23, 2008 to February 6, 2009. The said payments were deposited “very near to the time of signing of the respective” bilateral agreements between Air India and three middle eastern Airlines.
Talwar was remanded to seven days custody of ED. Investigation has revealed that there was “increase in the seat entitlements for both the contracting countries and increase in points of call for foreign carriers”. It adds “the foreign carriers obtained more points of call each time causing loss to Air India ”., as Air India could not utilise its seat entitlement in the optimum capacity.
The ED also said the foreign airlines were exercising the benefits of 6th freedom traffic. It means they were carrying the traffics of the countries other than their own.