The Madras High Court has ordered interim stay on Air India Airport Services from taking over ground handling services in Chennai and Kolkata airports from Friday.
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So far, Bhadra was the Ground Handling Agency (GHA) in Chennai airport and Kolkata (Nova Consortium is also an GHA in Kolkata).
On December 22 the Airports Authority of India Cargo Logistics & Allied Services, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Airports Authority of India (AAI), had announced that AIASL will start providing ground handling services at the two airports from January 1 as an interim arrangement. This followed the conclusion of the ten-year contract for GHAs on September 22 and the two GHAs had continued so far.
Justice J Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy in his order said: “there shall be an order of interim stay of the impugned communication dated 22.12.2020 for a period of two weeks in respect of the Chennai and Kolkata airports.”
He was hearing two petitions – one filed by Bhadra and another on behalf of an employee union of Bhadra.
The Court also directed the two airports to provide or facilitate the provision of security passes and any other requirements to enable Bhadra to continue to provide the cargo and ground handling services as per the licence agreement for the two weeks.
The matter has been posted for the next hearing on January 8.
Prem Bajaj, Chairman & Managing Director, Bhadra International (India) P Limited, has written to the Airports Authority of India to issue entry passes to its staff in line with the Court’s order