The Centre may soon ease norms for airlines to obtain a permit for flying on international routes. Civil aviation ministry sources said that work has begun on drafting a Cabinet note which will abolish the current regulations that require Indian airlines to have five years of domestic operations and a minimum of 20 aircraft before being allowed to fly internationally.
“The proposal is under active consideration of the ministry and Cabinet clearance would be sought in a few weeks,” said a senior official at the civil aviation ministry.
The current restrictions were approved by the Cabinet in 2004. Since, the current restrictions were put in 2004, a Cabinet approval would be required to bring about any changes to the rules.
The current regulations have come in for constant criticism from new airlines.
Wadia-owned GoAir was one of the first one to push the civil aviation ministry for abolition of the rule. Recently, Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia also said the rule is not necessary.
“These are bizarre rules that you can’t fly abroad before five years and a 20 aircraft fleet,” Tony Fernandes, group CEO of AirAsia had said in July. “The rule makes no sense and its a negative for Indian carriers when I as a one-plane airline in Malaysia can fly to India.”
Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh also said after the announcement of the Tata – Singapore Airlines joint venture that the five year-20 aircraft rule needs to be changed.