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India will lift ban and allow Airbus A380 planes to land at the country's four main airports, the civil aviation ministry said on Monday, lifting restrictions on the superjumbos flying into the country, which may end up hurting domestic carrier Air India.
The four airports equipped to handle the A380s are in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, the ministry said.
The ban on A380s was mainly due to concerns that foreign carriers may further hurt state-run Air India by grabbing a larger share of international traffic.
The rule change will benefit carriers like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Lufthansa and British Airways that operate the super-jumbo and fly to India, as well A380 customers like Etihad and Qatar Airways who have yet to take delivery of the aircraft.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said earlier this month the government was considering removing the restrictions.
"Now, flights of A380 to India will be allowed to airports which are equipped to handle them," the civil aviation ministry statement said.
"The operations of A380 aircraft would be subject to overall traffic entitlements within the bilateral Air Service Agreements (ASAs) with different countries," it said.
Aviation Ministry allows operation of Airbus A-380s
(PTI) After several years of demands by some major foreign carriers, Civil Aviation Ministry today approved the operations of Airbus A-380s in India at four airports currently equipped to handle these super jumbos.
The restrictions on the fully double-decker planes were lifted after weeks of consultation between Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air India and Airports Authority of India.
An A-380 can seat 850 passengers in an all-economy configuration, but those having a three-class configuration can accommodate between 550-600 passengers.
The operations of the A-380s would be subject to overall traffic entitlements within the bilateral Air Service Agreements (ASAs) with different countries, an official spokesperson said.
Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa have been pressing the government for several years to allow them fly these super jumbos into India.
The A-380s would now be allowed to airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, which are equipped to handle them and have the required infrastructure.
It has also been decided that wherever the entitlements were not expressed in terms of seats per week, these would be rationalised and converted into seats per week before allowing A-380 operations to India from these countries. This exercise would be carried through mutual negotiations between India and other countries through Memorandums of Understanding, the spokesperson said.
The ASAs, which specifically prohibit A-380 operations to