The government is likely to allow regional airlines to operate flight services to one additional trunk route outside their region to help them achieve profitability, sources said.
At present, a regional airline connects smaller destinations to the major metro of that region. It does not operate outside the region and does not connect to more than one metro.
The country has been divided into north, east, west, south and northeast regions for this purpose.
“There is a request from the regional players to permit them to fly on a metro route which is outside their region. The government is seriously looking at the proposal,” official sources said today.
Currently, two airlines — Air Costa and Air Pegasus — operate as regional carriers. Both have the flying permit to operate in the southern region.
Sources said it would not be an open policy and permission to operate an additional route would be granted on a case-to- case basis. They added that the proposal “would help the airline achieve the much-needed profitability”.
The government has increased the number of Category-1, or trunk, routes to 20 in the new proposed route dispersal guidelines (RDGs) as against 12 in the existing one.