Mr. D Sudhakara Reddy is the founder & national president of AIR PASSENGERS ASSOCIATION OF INDIA which is entering into its Silver Jubilee year and has several eminent people as Executive Committee Members on the national body. In the early nineties India’s monopoly national airline, Indian Airlines ruled the skies and hence the roost as well. Passenger service was at its lowest ebb and delayed departures, misplaced baggage and indifferent service were a routine affair. It was at this time that Mr. D Sudhakara Reddy, a frequent flyer with a lot of harrowing experiences decided to launch the Air Passengers Association of India or APAI as it is now widely known with the support of many like minded people.
Air Passengers Association of India (APAI), came into being 25 years ago with the sole objective of serving the cause of the passengers and to participate in the policy making bodies of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. APAI is registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Act and it is a not for profit organization & has been doing YEOMEN service to address the grievances of our members in particular and travelling public in general, in areas of extending guidance, giving them proper advice etc.,
Air Passenger Association of India (APAI) enters its twenty fifth year of service to the passenger, by the passenger and for the passenger. The association can be proud of its contribution to the growth of aviation industry in the country. APAI will continue to strive for safer, reliable, more comfortable and affordable air travel to the citizens of our nation.
Once the Air Passengers Association of India was launched, air passengers began to breathe a little more easily. The response was overwhelming and support and encouragement came in from all quarters, for here was a watchdog determined to take up the cudgels on behalf of the aggrieved air passengers… a watchdog that could bark effectively and bite too, if need be. In the twenty five years since its inception, APAI has made a real difference to the air travel scene in India, supporting the rights of air passengers and voicing their concerns in the corridors of power.
APAI achievements – to quote a few :
· A Memorandum was submitted to the Hon. Prime Minister of India Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1991 requesting the following:
a) To permit private enterprises to operate scheduled airlines
b) To permit more international airlines to operate into and out of India
c) Merger of IAAI & NAA as there was a lot of duplication in their roles and responsibilities
d) Merger of Vayudoot with Indian Airlines
e) To privatise AI & IA into corporate entities
· Filed writ petition on withdrawal of gulf surcharge at madras high court in September 1991 and this was with drawn subsequently by the government of India.
· Implementation of the open skies policy by raising the issue continuously with the ministry right from 1990 finally this happened in 1993/94.
· Reduction of air fares and taxes for handicapped, disabled and senior citizens
· Increasing of compensation for wounded passengers from Rs.40,000 to Rs.1,00,000/-.
· On a request from ministry of civil aviation in 2015, APAI has submitted their views on the draft civil aviation policy circulated by the MOCA after the new NDS government has come into power. We are very proud to state that the majority of significant suggestions incorporate into the new civil aviation policy in June 2016 have been made by APAI.