New Delhi, Dec 21 (PTI) The government should ensure that domestic carriers get time as well as parking slots in foreign airports to utilise increased seat entitlements, a Parliamentary panel said Friday as it observed that increased bilaterals have been “one way benefit” for overseas airlines.

Bilaterals refers to an agreement between two countries that allows each other’s airlines to operate services with a specific number of seats.

The issues related to bilateral flying rights has been flagged by the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, headed by Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien.

“Indian carriers are suffering due to the increased bilaterals with the foreign countries.

“Many of Indian carriers could not use the traffic rights due to the non-availability of time slots/ parking slots and there has been one way benefit to foreign carriers due to this bilaterals,” the committee said in the report tabled in Parliament.

The report titled ‘Action taken by the Government on the recommendations/ observations of the Committee’ also noted that foreign carriers are increasing the number of flights and are carrying more Indian passengers.

The committee also reiterated its recommendation that the Civil Aviation should thoroughly examine bilaterals and ensure that airlines of India are getting slots in foreign countries to utilise the increased traffic rights.

Besides, the panel said the ministry and the DGCA should regulate baggage charges and airfares in such a way to facilitate and benefit the air passengers.

It also pulled up the ministry for being “callous” and “irresponsible” in not examining the recommendations on cancellation charges.

“… the committee, therefore, reiterates its recommendation that the airlines must be restricted to charging not more that 50 per cent of the base fare as cancellation charges,” the report said.

Further, the panel has called for concerted efforts by the ministry to prevail upon different airlines to keep the airfares at minimum affordable level for the benefit of common man.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.