To fly global, new Indian airline like Vistara will need to stay local for 2½ years

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New Delhi | Published: March 14, 2015 9:11:34 AM

Currently, Vistara, AirAsia India and GoAir are the only Indian carriers which are not eligible for operating international flights from India...

Vistara, Vistara flight, Vistara operationsIt may take a domestic start-up airline like Vistara a minimum of two-and-half years from start of operations in India to become eligible for commencing international services.

It may take a domestic start-up airline a minimum of two-and-half years from start of operations in India to become eligible for applying to the civil aviation ministry commencing international services.

This is as per the revised route dispersal guidelines being firmed up by the ministry, which will shortly be sent to the Cabinet for approval.

The proposed norms have been formulated to replace existing rules which stipulate that an Indian carrier has to fly in the domestic skies for five years and is required to have a fleet of 20 aircraft before being allowed to fly abroad (known as the 5/20 norms).

The Union Cabinet’s nod is needed for changing the rules as the decision to bring in what is referred to as the 5/20 rule was approved by the Cabinet in December 2004.

A senior official in the ministry of civil aviation said, “The proposed route dispersal guidelines have certain inbuilt checks to ensure that domestic air connectivity is not affected as more and more Indian carriers start international flights. New airlines need to have a blemish free record of one year of domestic operations. They will have to have completed an annual safety audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and earned a certain number of points by meeting the guidelines for flying in India before it becomes eligible for international flights.”

“We expect that it will take a minimum of 2.5 years for a start up to achieve all these criteria,” added the official.

Currently, Vistara, AirAsia India and GoAir are the only Indian carriers which are not eligible for operating international flights from India as they do not meet the laid down guidelines.

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