Thursday, September 01, 2016

Govt to ease rules for flying to the northeast, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands

In a bid to incentivise Indian carriers to fly to far-flung areas of the north-eastern states, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government plans to relax norms wherein an airline can stop operations to these states by giving a three-month notice, said government officials.
The ease of doing business exercise will also be applicable to Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The initiative, separate from the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), is to attract airlines. RCS is an ambitious project that aims to connect remote areas by putting unserved and underserved airports to optimum use.
As per the current norms, carriers operating flights to north-eastern states cannot withdraw them without the government’s permission even though air connectivity to the region is relatively poor.
“The government is moving ahead towards easing restrictions wherein airlines can either withdraw or revise domestic operations to and within these identified states by giving a three-month notice,” said a senior civilaviation ministry official requesting anonymity.
Currently, Alliance Air, a regional arm of Air India, offers air connectivity to towns and cities in the northeast. IndiGo flies to Guwahati, Dimapur and Imphal, and GoAir flies to Guwahati. Air India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways connect Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“The New Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, has also called for this, but it is subject to full compliance of route dispersal guidelines (RDG),” the official added.
01/09/16 Sanjay Singh/VCCircle
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