Thursday, March 03, 2016

As 5/20 flying rule drags on, civil aviation min to hold another 'informal' meeting on policy

New Delhi: Intense lobbying by incumbent airlines against any move to ease overseas flying restrictions may have miffed the Tatas and civil aviation experts but it has achieved one thing: the Civil Aviation Policy is once again delayed as ministers of the Modi government try and understand the intense objections to any such move.
The draft policy has been in the public domain for months. But its passage is further delayed now after recent statements by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) - this lobby group of incumbent airlines has made various allegations, even threatened court action if the 5/20 rule is removed.
This rule bars airlines from flying overseas unless they have completed five years of domestic operations and have a fleet of 20 aircraft. Incumbents - Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir - want this rule to stay whereas new airlines Vistara and AirAsia India (in both Tatas have equity stakes) want the rule to be abolished.
A senior official in the ministry of civil aviation said there is intense "Manthan" or churning within the government over a decision on the 5/20 rule. He said after the intense lobbying by incumbent airlines made headlines recently where some decision makers have sought additional clarifications on the rule.
03/03/16 Sindhu Bhattacharya/First Post
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