New Delhi: The aviation ministry has decided to end the discrimination desi carriers face in flying abroad vis-a-vis foreign airlines that have flights to India. The current rule that an Indian carrier must complete at least five years of operation and have a fleet of 20 aircraft before being allowed to go overseas is all set to be relaxed. While the minimum age of five will remain for now, the fleet requirement could be cut by half to 10.
"The change of rules would have to be approved by the Union cabinet and we are preparing the papers for being put up there. Many foreign airlines that fly to India (like those of Bangladesh and Bhutan) do not have 20 aircraft in their fleet. Why should our carriers face such conditions then?" aviation minister Ajit Singh told TOI.Such a change would help airlines expected to be launched now after FDI rules have been relaxed and Wadia Group's GoAir that has sought exemption from the 20-aircraft rule to fly abroad. Airline industry officials question the five-year logic too. Many foreign carriers have had their launch flights to India.
25/03/13 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India