Amid hectic lobbying, the Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for partial abolition of the 5/20 rule, which will enable new carriers likeand Air Asia to start international operations sooner.
According to the CivilPolicy, released by the ministry on Wednesday, the government has decided to scrap the minimum five years requirement. However, an airline will have to allocate 20 aircraft or 20% of their total fleet of aircraft, whichever is higher, to the if they wish to fly overseas. This effectively means a carrier must have a minimum 20 aircraft in its fleet.
“This is to ensure that any new airlines starting business in India should essentially serve the remote parts of the country,” a ministry official said.
In an interview to Business Standard, Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, had hinted at this proposal. “In place of 5/20, we can make it 3/10 or 3/12. We have also looked at options like 0/10 and 0/20,” he had said.
While proposing to liberalise India’s skies, the government had earlier kept proposed three different options to replace the rule: continuing the present norms, complete abolition from immediate effect and a credit-based system to replace it. At present, an airline requires five years of operations and 20 aircrafts in its fleet to go on international routes.