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“Disappointed that Union Budget 2021 completely marginalized Aviation Sector,” said Nuzhat Kazi

Nuzhat Kazi

Due to the novel coronavirus, the travel and tourism sector was one of the worst-hit in 2020. As many domestic and international routes still remain under restrictions, airlines are facing massive losses every day.

“Travel Industry was one of the first industries to be hit and I think one of the last industries to maybe make a comeback,” said Ritu Mehrotra, country manager – India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives at Booking.com. 

With the stop of air travel in March, Indian private jet operators feared the worst, believing the pandemic would decimate their businesses. Amid these trying times, the aviation sector was expecting serious relief measures from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget.

Founder of Czar Air, Nuzhat Kazi says, “The pandemic has badly hit the private aviation sector too! Very few people are flying amidst the pandemic, that too whenever really needed. The on-ground cost of maintenance is extremely high. With nearly no bookings, there is no inflow. Overall, it has been very stressful.”

Nuzhat Kazi founded Czar Air; a chartered aircraft service provider that offers a variety of luxurious services like corporate flying, bulk charter services, air ambulances, helicopter joy rides, and much more. Czar Air is one of India’s finest chartered plane service provider, based outside of Bombay. They cater to customized air travel services across the globe.

In conversation with Nuzhat, sheexpresses, “I had high expectations from the Union Budget but I was extremely disappointed. Just like the other sectors, aviation was badly affected but was completely ignored in the budget. With the COVID vaccine coming into place and the travel and tourism industry slowly opening up, not enough incentives have been provided to the Aviation Industry.”

“Our Finance Minister needs to compensate more on Travel and Tourism. New people might not be venturing into this field but for those who have worked so hard and faced many challenges, the Government should provide subsidiaries in the form of incentives. Moreover, since the spare parts of the aviation come from France, the Government could provide us with subsidiaries on the custom duties. Another way out could be if we were provided with a tax rebate.” suggests Nuzhat.

Nuzhat says, “When I founded my brainchild, Czar Air, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) was 12.36% and now has been increased to 18% which is ridiculous. I could have used that money to enhance my business instead.”

“A great solution would be if the Government could reduce the parking fee for the aviation sector in general. Since most of our charters are parked in Mumbai, I know how ridiculously stressful it is to keep up with the fees we are charged!” adds Nuzhat.

Nuzhat suggests “The Government could promote the practice of safe travel and provide an impetus to the aviation sector. Only a small percent of those in the sector have been able to withstand and face the difficulties. Hence, they must be aided by the Government, especially for the numerous employees whose livelihood greatly depend on it.”

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Ravisha Poddar
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